Some people say that our lives make more sense if we were to live it backwards. Although I had a Spanish nanny when I was a child my language of preference at school was that of French. I went on three French exchanges, did work experience in a school and am now happily married to a French man.
As we stepped into our family’s home recently, we left my mother tongue back in England and embraced that of my husband’s. Our eldest seemed unphased by this departure and was very eager to stay up late and socialise as is the culture. So as I left hubby and the eldest to it. I retired to the bedroom with the youngest.
During our stay my daughter seemed to understand simple instructions like being asked to pick up a doll from the garden and of course knew what non and chocolat meant. Some of the words in French are very similar to English for they both have their roots in Latin so I imagine that this helps. Of course gestures, body movement and facial expression also add up to some level of understanding too.
So how do we maintain this interaction and break down/erase the language barrier?
To help with the learning of French as well as that of English I've:
- started collecting some games
- spoken in French and English
- considered playgroup/toddler group
- thought about books / magazines
Have you got experience of raising bilingual/multi lingual children? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences.