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I am so desperate, I have done everything to help my son enjoy language. He is very resistant to spelling, writing, grammar, reading, basically anything to do with language studies. I have finally got him to read up to the orange books but he is 12 now and very behind. I’ve stopped altogether at times to give him a break and do only ‘fun’ related language lessons, and still he hates language studies. Can you please help me with any suggestions? I’m desperate because I know how important language is an I’m afraid he’s not going to cope in the adult world.

Firstly, I hear the cry of your heart. A son whom you have persevered with through the mud! Well done in given it your all and helping him build character while pressing on with a subject which he does not enjoy. If this were my son in this situation at this time this is what I would be doing.

  1. I’d be glad that I got him as far as we have. Knowing that he has been exposed to good literature and has a grasp on the foundations of what makes up language even if he has not enjoyed the process.
  2. I’d tell him I realise that this has been an ongoing struggle buy yet he can now read, which would not have happened if he had not had the helping hand of this resource and a parent helping him press through.
  3.  Then I would show him what the outcome would be and encourage him to persevere. Up to Grey LLATL is quite a sufficient language understanding to be ready for adult life so he does not necessarily have to go all the way to Gold LLATL. In fact, a student does not have to go as far as Grey LLATL to be able to cope in adult life. To confirm this, I know of a number of Afrikaans families whose children have gone onto college courses after reaching Green LLATL and still they were excelling in english even though it was their second language.
  4.  Finally, what I would be doing practically to keep language advancing as this stage is put LLATL aside and pick up Excellence in Writing. Here you have a tutor, on DVD, helping bring language to life and teaching how to apply what is learnt through this course. It moves away from all the grammar rules, sentence diagraming, etc. It inspires and motivates a person to ‘want to’ put their thoughts down on paper!

Our son went from dragging his heals, when it came to writing, to finding wings! Quite remarkable really and it is all because or Andrew Pudewa’s passion and energy in sharing with his students what they can do and how easy it is. You may want to watch some of the video clips on this.

Lastly why not just take a complete break from formal language for a while and allow some distance so that if you decided to go on with the Excellence in Writing then it can be something to look forward to. I know you have already taken a few breaks from language lessons but how about talking to your son about this idea so he knows you are wanting to help and support him in whichever way, to help him continue to learn.