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.
May i ask how you have found these lodgers? I’m in rural France and have profiles on helpx, workaway, my English family, warmshowers , talk talk bnb...and nothing yet. Next up: couch surfing and Airbnb!
English speaking Canadian Mom, French speaking Dad, happily transitioning to minority language at home (English) with our baby daughter in France.
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Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9