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How to introduce language through nanny

(7 Posts)
Mamabear12 Sat 06-Aug-16 12:38:59

Hello. We only speak English in our household, but live in an area with a lot of French speakers. In the park we always hear French everywhere and my daughter closest friends all are bilingual speaking French and English fluently. We have access to classes and clubs in French and I would very much like my kids to learn. My daughter is interested as well since her friends all seem to speak it. They speak English just as well so speak English only to my daughter. I found a French nanny and my daughter just completed a week of full immersion French camp 9-3pm. She loved the camp and was not upset about it being all in French. She has learned a few words and phrases. My plan is to do French club once a week w a tutor and have a French nanny 2-3 days a week for 3-4 hours. My question is do I have nanny speak French only in the hopes kids will learn? Or should she be explaining to them in English as she goes? My worry if she keeps explaining in English the kids will ignore French and just listen to her english. But if she speaks only in French, they might just not understand it bc it's not enough hours for them to learn. What should I do? What do u think is best method?

SystemAticcally Wed 10-Aug-16 20:21:26

Only one language per person, and stick to it.

When adults switch languages the child get lazy because they know they wont need to make an effort since the sentence will be translated.

Your nanny should speak in French only and if the kid doesn't understand then she paraphrases in French and/or mimes, draws but no English at all.

MeadowHay Thu 18-Aug-16 12:44:30

Nanny should speak French only unless absolutely necessary (i.e. an emergency situation or perhaps if the child is ill or very upset). My partner worked for the last year as a nanny in France, he spoke exclusively in English to the children unless there was something wrong that needed remedying quickly that the child was failing to understand. He spoke little French to start with anyway and the children didn't speak any English at all and by the end of the year all his charges who he only spent about 6 hours a week with had really improved. If nanny starts speaking in English then child will just speak to them in English all the time.

Mamabear12 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:59:18

Meadow hay, the kids your partner only spent six hours with, were they also learning English in some other way? I'm really hoping this all works out. Tomorrow I'm meeting with a nanny and she will meet the kids.

MeadowHay Sat 20-Aug-16 12:59:24

The oldest child he looked after was 10 and she did some English at school too, although I have no idea how much. She could read and write as well which meant her learning came on more because there were more ways to teach her things. The other children were aged between 4 and 8 - the 8 year old could read and write very little, and the 4-5 yr olds not at all, and I don't think any of them did any English at school as they couldn't speak any at all to start with.

You do have to be realistic in your expectations though - I'm not saying the 4 year olds suddenly became fluent in English when they only had one 6 hour day a week with him, that was obviously not possible with such little contact, and especially for a child so young, whose parents spoke a very limited amount of English. But he did definitely learn things!

Amalfimamma Tue 23-Aug-16 01:12:22

As an ex English speaking nanny, you're nanny should speak only in French. My first job in italy was with 2 kids, 8 and 10 at the time who spoke very little English, they spent the summer with me all day 6 days a week just playing and going to the beach and we're quasi fluent after 3 months.

Mamabear12 Sat 03-Sep-16 13:34:10

Thanks for the feedback. After a couple of weeks with French learning my daughter has caught on quickly. We only have the nanny about 6-9 hours a week. I'm hoping to increase it to 15. I read you need at least 20 hours. On top of that I also try to ask my daughter to use her French that she has learned and I practice as well the basics I've learned. And some music and cartoons in French. Peppa pig, Dora and Cailu are really good shows to watch in French and thankfully available on YouTube! My daughter can now count to 15 in French, say all colours, some foods and animals in French. Plus say the basics of hello, goodbye, good night, how are you, my name is, what is your name, I want, I'm hungry, I'm tired, stop, come, let's go etc. She surprises me all the time with her French. She heard me ask the nanny how to say I'm tired in French, she responded before the nanny "Je suis fatigue." I was so surprised and we are going to ride horses today and I asked her how to say horse in French and she knew it. It's amazing how fast and how much kids retain. I only wish I spoke French fluently because then it would be so much easier to teach. I'm very passionate so I try all the basics I know and learn with my daughter. But if I could, I would be speaking only in French and reading etc. It does take more work to teach a kid a second language and I don't understand how bilingual parents don't teach kids their second language! Like my husband!!! Bc surely, it is much easier then when you don't speak the language like me! And even I'm getting somewhere with it 😀 My hope is I can learn it with my kids so at least we will have that together.

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