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.
Post by Abbi Gutierrez on Apr 13, 2018 5:30:26 GMT 9
I would recommend getting ml speaking lodgers too. We currently have two 20 year olds from Ecuador living with us and in the past have had a few couples from Spain. It's great to add new variations of Spanish into the kids lives too.
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Marisa: Way to go, Mayken! That's the (bilingual) spirit
Mar 29, 2018 0:55:54 GMT 9
Kristin T.: Will check out your podcast interview on my next run!
Mar 30, 2018 23:24:37 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter brought home her ml report card (she gets a separate one from the regular report card at her bilingual school), and it's straight A's! (Better than her marks in ML on the main report card.) I'm so proud!!!
Mar 31, 2018 6:10:44 GMT 9
Amy: Gratuliere (Congratulations) Mayken!!
Mar 31, 2018 16:54:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Thank you, Amy! As a reward, we allowed her to purchase a big item from her Christmas money--a Playmobil house, with which she now plays in ml!
Apr 4, 2018 3:37:31 GMT 9
Amy: Reward all the way round . Bilingual education can be a virtuous circle
Apr 4, 2018 5:26:18 GMT 9
Nellie: What great news, Mayken!
Apr 5, 2018 4:36:26 GMT 9
Raquel: I totally missed this. Congratulations, Mayken!! You have reason to be proud
Apr 10, 2018 20:08:02 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks everyone! Today my daughter helped a classmate finish her ml homework just before school - all in ml. (My daughter had finished hers the day before at home.)
Apr 11, 2018 3:58:56 GMT 9
Raquel: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's passing, Adam. She sounds like an amazing woman. Sending you a big hug from Madrid.
Apr 12, 2018 18:16:38 GMT 9
Marie: I am sorry to hear about your mother Adam. Thinking of you and your family.
Apr 13, 2018 4:25:21 GMT 9
Jana: What a beautiful tribute you wrote to your mother. Sending condolences from the SF Bay Area!
Apr 14, 2018 5:34:03 GMT 9
Kristin T.: I enjoyed reading your post about your mother. Those were some amazing photos to cherish forever. I am sorry for your loss. I know it's ever the more painful having been an expat so long. Take care & be kind to yourself.
Apr 16, 2018 2:24:35 GMT 9
Nellie: I'm so sorry to read about your mother Adam. She sounds like an incredible woman. Your friends across the world are thinking of you and your family!
Apr 17, 2018 0:50:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Thank you, everyone, for your warm expressions of sympathy on the loss of my mother. Your friendship and support has meant a lot to me at this challenging time.
Apr 17, 2018 7:44:14 GMT 9