Hello. It has only been a couple of days since the au pair from France arrived. We prepared our daughter by telling her the au pair does not understand or speak a word of English, so she must use the French she knows to communicate. I would mention this to my daughter a few times to prepare her, but also mentioned how fun the au pair would be to play with, do art with etc. This has worked and my daughter is actually now speaking French for the first time in sentences and having conversations! She has only been learning French at her bilingual school from January, so a few months, so this is a big step in progress, as at school she would respond in English to anyone when they spoke French.
We never had an au pair and decided to test it out for the summer. We are super happy with our decision to get one for the summer. I would recommend it to anyone if you are looking to get more exposure, even if you do it only for a month. There are au pairs willing to do it short term. We have ours for about 2.5 months, but saw many were happy to do a month during the summer. I am hoping we get away with it for the whole summer, but I suspect my daughter might start to notice that me and my husband secretly speak to her in English when we are in the other room from them. We speak in low voices of course in the hopes they don't notice. They are still quite young so they do not pay close attention. But I am sure a lot of you would not have this language as you are able to communicate in your ml language. We only speak English at home and do not speak much French. I know the basics though, so am getting practice with the au pair as well. And luckily some of my friends and my sister know basic French, so when they meet the au pair, they speak the basic French they know.
Marie, I'm glad to hear this is already such a positive and productive experience for your family! I'm sure you'll continue to enjoy a lot of happy progress this summer!
While we were never able to have an au pair, we've tried to do the next best thing by serving as a homestay family for high school and college students who are visiting Hiroshima from abroad. To date, we've done this about a dozen times and, though these young people typically stay with us only a few days or so, our interactions in English (our minority language) are very fun and effective. So I can certainly imagine how powerful it would be to have a playful minority language speaker, like an au pair, stay with us for a month or more!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
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Amy: Just received your novel Adam, just in time for the weekend! I already read 3 chapters and am loving the style! Congrats!
Feb 10, 2018 6:25:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's so nice to hear, Amy! I look forward to more impressions as you continue reading!
Feb 10, 2018 10:46:14 GMT 9
Mayken: After writing a letter in the ML to her new friend for whom it is the ml, my daughter is now on the phone with her friend from ml country. (And hiding in her room with my phone. No more phone cords to hold her back.)
Feb 11, 2018 23:13:29 GMT 9
Nellie: Book ordered Adam!
Feb 15, 2018 6:20:36 GMT 9
Nellie: Mayken - so cute! The terrible teens are approaching!
Feb 15, 2018 6:21:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nellie, thank you! I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your impressions!
Feb 15, 2018 6:34:04 GMT 9
Wojtek: I found sample Eiken tests on grade 5 and 4 (There was Adam's article) and did the first part with my daughter (20 questions). On Grade 5 she did 16 of 20 correctly and on grade 4: 12 of 20. Not so bad though. She failed those where grammar was included.
Feb 15, 2018 20:43:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, your daughter is still very young so I would say those are really positive results! Your efforts are clearly producing a lot of progress. Good for you, and good for your daughter!
Feb 16, 2018 7:52:23 GMT 9
Undraa: A big congrats from my end to you for your new book Adam!
Feb 16, 2018 16:50:56 GMT 9
Wojtek: Big thanks, Adam. Those tests on grade 5 are so basic but anyway they prove that my girl understands them and knows the answers. That was quite interesting experience.
Feb 16, 2018 16:54:32 GMT 9
Wojtek: Congratulations on your book, Adam! I read the beginning on Amazon and as always I have the impression you took several pages from the dictionary with a range of sophisticated words and just put them in. That's why the book will be very valuable for me.
Feb 16, 2018 17:01:19 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, thanks! Even if you're unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary, I think the lively story will carry you through the book. I hope you enjoy it, and also find it useful for your English!
Feb 16, 2018 18:43:12 GMT 9
Dani: Hi everyone, It has been a while... Congrats on your new book Adam! Would love to get a copy too.
Feb 17, 2018 8:30:36 GMT 9