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 Post subject: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 21:05 
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Jack Lambert is utterly desperate to go to the Chalet School, she makes such a fuss about it that her parents contemplate forbidding her to go. On the first page of Leader she says:

Quote:
"...I'm dying for it after all Auntie Gay and Auntie Jacynth have told us about it..."


However, when she arrives at the Chalet School she has this conversation with Len:

Quote:
"Here you are!" she [Len] said. "... I don't know if you speak anything but your own language."

"I don't," Jack said in a hurry, and rather appalled. "Have we got to?"


Surely if Gay and Jacynth had told her all about the Chalet School, they would have at some point mentioned the languages thing? I know EBD liked to have people surprised by the trilingual nature of the CS, but didn't Gay and Jacynth live with Jack (Gay's cousin Ruth is Jack's mother isn't she?) and her family, and it must have cropped up in conversation!

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 21:13 
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I suppose it all depends how well you keep up with things happening in your old school. Don't forget, the time that Gay and Jacynth were at the Chalet School coincided with the war years, where language work (especially German) would have been given less importance than, say, Dig for Britain. German was reintroduced, I believe, in Thre Go, which was close to being the last year for Gay and Jacynth.

Jacynth certainly was busy forging her music career afterwards. I have no idea what Gay was doing (if anyone wants to enlighten me, please do so!), but I would imagine that, as she isn't one of the people who is mentioned a lot, until her nieces come to the school, that she wasn't in touch with the CS as much as others had been.

It may just have been a case of, you're going to go to your aunt's old school. Jack's parents might have read the prospectus, but Jack, being young and heedless, would almost certainly not have been bothered about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 21:20 
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Gay had been teaching in New Zealand, and had then got married and had (of course!) twins.

Maybe the trilingual system was a big secret :lol: . No-one ever knows about it when they first arrive at the school.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 21:30 
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I would imagine that, as she isn't one of the people who is mentioned a lot, until her nieces come to the school, that she wasn't in touch with the CS as much as others had been.

Well, it's news to Len that Gay is married with children, so evidently she hadn't kept in touch. Although one would think Gill Culver might have mentioned it, or Ruth would have when writing about Ann and Jack.

And presumably Gay wasn't contacted at the time of the Coming of Age, when they were trying to gather news of all old girls and invite them to the celebrations.

But yes, I agree, the School wasn't really practising trilingualism when Gay and Jacynth were there, so if they were just talking about their own experiences, they wouldn't have mentioned it. And Jack's only just eleven when she arrives at the school, isn't she? Whatever she'd read in the prospectus, the reality probably didn't sink in until she was faced with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2017, 21:50 
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[quote="Alison H"
Maybe the trilingual system was a big secret :lol: . No-one ever knows about it when they first arrive at the school.[/quote]


It does seem to be the case that no parent ever shared the contents of the prospectus with their offspring. New girls are constantly surprised by information - not just about language - that you'ld have expected to be in the prospectus.

And those same parents don't share information about changes at school either. "New arrangements" including the return to the trilingual system are invariably a surprise.

The occasions when a prospectus is mentioned are often memorable precisely because it happens so rarely! Lintons (where the three language system is actually mentioned and Joyce doesn't take it seriously), Gay (where Jacynth and Auntie look over a lot of prospectuses and reject Roedean et al. on cost), Wrong, where the appearance of another Chalet School is integral to the plot. There's another occasion where a character actually asks the new girl if they did not read the prospectus and describes getting prospectuses from a lot of different schools and having fun reading them. (if I remember what book it is, I'll add the reference)


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 01:27 
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I can easily see Jack being told the school is trilingual, but not paying attention. :D But I would think the parents would have noted this, and maybe done some preparation so Anne, in particular, wasn't totally lost, as she's fourteen when she joins the school. Maybe French classes during holidays, or an after school tutor once a week.

The prospectus stuff is either in Wrong or Carola Storms (the latter, I think), and is told by Gillian Moggeridge.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 02:15 
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jennifer wrote:
The prospectus stuff is either in Wrong or Carola Storms (the latter, I think), and is told by Gillian Moggeridge.


Ta muchly! It sounded like one of those books in my head


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 10:45 
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jennifer wrote:
I can easily see Jack being told the school is trilingual, but not paying attention. :D But I would think the parents would have noted this, and maybe done some preparation so Anne, in particular, wasn't totally lost, as she's fourteen when she joins the school. Maybe French classes during holidays, or an after school tutor once a week.

The prospectus stuff is either in Wrong or Carola Storms (the latter, I think), and is told by Gillian Moggeridge.

Yeah, its in Carola, cos she can't explain why she hadn't seen a prospectus.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 16:41 
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Would Jack have understood what the word 'Trilingual' actually meant?

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 21:00 
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Even if Jack had been told they needed to use three languages, she may not have realised that it meant all day, when you were without supervision and when outside. I always found it unlikely that the younger girls would actually use the language of the day if they thought they could get away with not doing so.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 21:21 
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Off topic really but I've always wondered how useful would be the polyglot French/German they spoke in the common room after a day of intense concentration in class.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 21:23 
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Supersal wrote:
Even if Jack had been told they needed to use three languages, she may not have realised that it meant all day, when you were without supervision and when outside. I always found it unlikely that the younger girls would actually use the language of the day if they thought they could get away with not doing so.


Same, because I knew we never did it in Irish college! We were meant to speak Irish all the time or risk being sent home. My friend came up with the idea that if you said "Tá" at the start of every sentence, even if you were overheard you couldn't be sent home because you hadn't said a *complete* English sentence.

I don't think anyone was ever sent home anyway, but I do remember someone in floods of tears because the teachers had heard her speaking English and threatened to ring her parents.

I was overheard swearing once and I didn't even get in a row... it was a scary couple of minutes though! (And yes, I knew how to swear in Irish too...)


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 08 Feb 2017, 23:10 
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Alison H wrote:
Maybe the trilingual system was a big secret :lol: . No-one ever knows about it when they first arrive at the school.


That has to be it!

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2017, 14:35 
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Parents lied to their children about it, knowing the children would never agree to go if they had to speak trilingually (or quadringually if your native tongue is not English, French or German :shock: ).

I do find it convincing that Jack hasn't picked up on it. And Joyce's vagueness is believable too.

In the Dimsie books, it seems like they're supposed to speak French in their dormitories - which seems utterly pointless as presumably the 'French' they're speaking is not French at all!

The two things I don't find convincing are a) Margot struggling in a French exam and b) the girls' horror on learning in Genius (I think?) that Mademoiselle will be teaching them French using the direct method. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2017, 22:33 
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Quote:
The two things I don't find convincing are a) Margot struggling in a French exam...

Oh, I think it's believable that Margot would be able to speak fluently enough with a good accent, from hearing French spoken around her, but would lack the correct grammar, spelling etc needed in a written exam.


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2017, 22:45 
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Supersal wrote:
I always found it unlikely that the younger girls would actually use the language of the day if they thought they could get away with not doing so.


True - mine all go to a Welsh medium school and fully admit they use English with their friends as much as they can get away with, I went to a parents evening and one of the girls was talking to me (in English) as we went up the stairs and one of the teachers overheard and started to tell her off until she realised she was speaking to me and therefore is let off.

When we sent them to Welsh medium schools I kind of expected they'd talk in Welsh behind my back if they wanted to keep secrets - none of them do, occasional phrases creep in (generally resulting in great hilarity when trying to get me to say them) but (6 year old excepted) the older three view Welsh as school only - and by school they mean in lessons and exams only


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2017, 14:37 
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
The two things I don't find convincing are a) Margot struggling in a French exam...

Oh, I think it's believable that Margot would be able to speak fluently enough with a good accent, from hearing French spoken around her, but would lack the correct grammar, spelling etc needed in a written exam.


But they have to do written work in French as well and Margot's even had two years at a French convent school! I find it unbelievable that someone as clever as Margot's supposed to be, who has received education in French her entire school life, would struggle with an exam that people who went to normal English schools were expected to pass!


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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2017, 18:44 
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Alison H wrote:
Gay had been teaching in New Zealand, and had then got married and had (of course!) twins.

Maybe the trilingual system was a big secret :lol: . No-one ever knows about it when they first arrive at the school.


Does anyone else think this would make a great CS/ Clare Mallory crossover drabble?

Edited: because I can't spell

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Last edited by brie on 13 Feb 2017, 15:21, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 09:57 
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Loryat wrote:
b) the girls' horror on learning in Genius (I think?) that Mademoiselle will be teaching them French using the direct method. :roll:


What is the direct method? All French throughout the entire lesson? No translation at all?

cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Jack Lambert and trilingualism (sp?)
PostPosted: 13 Feb 2017, 10:53 
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Joyce wrote:
Loryat wrote:
b) the girls' horror on learning in Genius (I think?) that Mademoiselle will be teaching them French using the direct method. :roll:


What is the direct method? All French throughout the entire lesson? No translation at all?

cheers,
Joyce

Yes! In theory all the explanations (grammar, vocabulary) are also in the target language! I can imagine that Mlle L. would have relented a little with some of the more difficult to explain topics. It was a very fashionable method about the time that EBD was writing the Swiss books.


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