Hi, have any of you used an au pair to help with language progress. If yes, any tips? How helpful were they? We are getting a summer French au pair and hoping she can help the kids progress in French during the summer. My daughter started at French Bilingual School in January and my son will start in September. Her French teacher said she still has catching up to do, as the other kids have been there twice as long and most have French parents/parent. We do not speak French, but I am learning as she learns. I am sure she is learning more then me, but I am learning what I can (basic phrases and tons of vocab). Anyway, we have an au pair coming and I am hoping it will help encourage the kids to speak more French and feel more comfortable. My son isn't shy, but my daughter is a little shy speaking it. The au pair is aware we are having her so she can speak only French to the kids and in front of the kids. I said when the kids are asleep or not around I am happy to speak in English to her.
We have an au pair for the first time since August 2016. The impact on language was AMAZING. Some advice: have a very clear discussion about you wanting him/her to speak the ml. It is important that your kids code him/her as ml, and you create the "need." The system of speaking ML when kids are nowhere near is perfect. We did the same. If you can fold in singing music together, playing games in French, reading together in French, you should see a huge effect. Good luck...and enjoy!
Thanks so much, happy to hear its helped you a lot. We are hoping it helps. We definately plan on her reading to the kids in French a lot! And of course music, games. I am hoping we have a good experience so we can get an au pair for longer the next time.
We currently have a ml babysitter for our daughter every weekday afternoon from 3.30-6. We arranged for her to finish crèche at 3.30 for the express purpose of increasing her exposure to ml1, and it definitely helps - just hearing someone other than her parents speak in the ml means that it becomes more of a "legitimate" language in her mind, I think!
She does know that the babysitter speaks the ML, and she (my daughter) tends to speak a lot of the time to her (the babysitter) in ML, but we definitely notice that she also comes up with expressions in ml1 that she must have heard from the babysitter, so it is definitely helping!
I told my kids the au pair does not understand a word of English and I explained to the au pair that we are going to pretend she doesn't speak English. I hope this lasts so the kids can try to speak French as much as possible! Not sure it will work, but we will see. At least they will get a lot of exposure to French with the au pair living with us.
We have a German (ml) nanny for our 2.2 year old; I'm bilingual, her Dad is English only and we live in London.
It works brilliantly.
Small Girl knows that our nanny (who is awesome and we'd love her even if she wasn't ml) can speak ML, but nanny pretty much only speaks to her in ml. Small Girl is code-switching a lot at the moment ("No, not Erdbeeren!" "Go Spielplatz!") - she seems to be about 3-6 months behind in her German compared to her English, in that she seems to only have German nouns but the filler words in English. Supernanny takes her to German playgroups, has found a couple of other German-speaking nannies of kids of a similar age so they have German speaking playdates... in short - our bilingual journey would have stopped a long time ago if we hadn't made a conscious choice for our childcare provision (while I'm at work) to be ml-"only". Plus I get to play the fun game of "do you know what this is called? And do you know what [nanny] calls it?"
I've also got personal experience on the other side - my parents (bilingual but English preferred) had German au pairs for 5 years when my sister was little, and we all spoke German together in front of au pairs and English amongst ourselves; my German certainly benefited and my sister grew up nicely bilingual (until she started going to ML-only school and we didn't have au pairs any more).
My tips would be: - make sure you get someone you'd be comfortable with even if they weren't helping on the bilingual journey! - be really clear in terms of expectations of language use with the kids, not just conversation, but books, music, playgroups (?), playdates - if you can empower the au pair to help you with the bilingual journey, they may have some good ideas!
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Mayken: My daughter's letter from her class trip arrived - she wrote one message in ML to Dad and another in ml to me. Her first letter in ml without a ml person to help her!
Jun 11, 2017 18:40:08 GMT 9
Nellie: Congrats Mayken, Amy and Joanna!
Jun 12, 2017 10:12:42 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wonderful, Mayken! Those letters are instant keepsakes that I'm sure will be read again many years from now...
Jun 12, 2017 14:57:15 GMT 9
Amy: Joanna, how did Saturday go? Mayken, enjoy this beautiful keepsake
Jun 12, 2017 20:36:29 GMT 9
Joanna: It went really well! I'll make a good post soon with details
Jun 15, 2017 14:04:30 GMT 9
Amy: Looking forward to it Joanna!
Jun 16, 2017 1:39:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My mom got a lovely postcard in ml too from my 6-year-old daughter on her field trip! Another precious keepsake! (OK, I prepared the card with address and stamp ahead of time, but she did the writing all by herself.)
Jun 19, 2017 23:28:01 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW VIDEO AT BILINGUAL MONKEYS TV! Your Child Wants to Be Bilingualhttps://youtu.be/C2uQhIZPp80 (And please subscribe to my growing YouTube channel!)
Jun 21, 2017 8:49:35 GMT 9
Mayken: Our ml section will have a flea market stand at the school fair with used books, games, DVDs and CDs for sale. I donated 2 games, promised my daughter she could choose something. (Proceeds are for the school's ml section.) Love the idea!
Jun 22, 2017 23:23:00 GMT 9
Amy: Am I to read something into the fact my toddler slammed Adam's book into my face...??
Jun 25, 2017 20:58:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: "Mommy, you better make me a polyglot...or else!"
Jun 26, 2017 6:40:56 GMT 9
Nellie: Ahaaaaaaaa Amy!!!
Jun 26, 2017 9:44:39 GMT 9
Joanna: I'm a member of a FB group Mums Space France and we're planning a weekend in September...taking over campgrounds in France , in English!
Jun 27, 2017 14:50:49 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter got her report card today from her grade 1 ml class. Almost straight A student. I'll make sure to practise reading aloud and spelling basic words with her over the summer. Very proud and happy.
Jun 29, 2017 5:09:33 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, congratulations to you both! Hope it's a fun, language-filled summer!
Jun 29, 2017 5:54:17 GMT 9