The Value of Cultural Exchange from a host mom
I recently heard from Diana, a host mom on Long Island. Her family has had au pairs for her twin girls for many years-Diana sees this experience as a great way to bring new langauges to her children. In Diana’s words:
“After 4 years of German aupairs, we felt the German language was well grounded in our twins as I am able to continue this bilingual upbringing non-stop after work and on the weekends. The German aupairs brought my girls the “fun” aspects of the German language by making it come alive with creative craft activities and all the fun outing activities, whereas I was able to reinforce all their German learnings through reading and more traditional teaching. So in our most recent aupair cycle renewal, we decided to expand the twins learning with two additional languages which had been privately tutored up to this past summer.
Since August 2012, we have a native Spanish speaking au pair and a Mandarin speaking au pair who split the longer work days that I have. The twins know very well that Spanish is spoken only with Jenny Quintana and Mandarin is spoken only with Yu Jue Wang. Very recently, my husband remarked that the girls don’t stop speaking Spanish!!! Basically, chatterboxes!! Mandarin is their fourth language, and they love singing and engaging in the very funny children’s stories from China. Yu Jue makes everything very amusing in Mandarin and the girls really like being challenged by her. It’s a big puzzle and game to them!!
At 4 and half years, learning languages is just pure fun! In short, the cultural enrichments stemming from understanding the language itself are an excellent foundation for all the years of global awareness and travel yet to enter into our twins lives. Our au pairs have and will be giving our girls a gift of a life time and we are so humbly grateful for these opportunities!”
Many thanks to Diana for sharing her family’s experience with Au Pair in America au pairs. Did you know that children are born with the neurons for all phonemes in all languages-that means that a child can learn languages, inflection, intonation, accent with ease when exposed on a regular basis. Unfortunately, for those of us who have tackled learning a new language as an adult, this “natural” ability decreases at puberty.
Delia and Bella with Yu Jue Wang
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