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  • Ruka Curate

Bilingual Nanny 101

Have you ever heard the phrase, “A child’s mind is like a sponge?” This analogy isn’t quite far from the truth. Children soak up so much information than adults when it comes to language. Studies show that between the ages of two and six, children are learning up to 10 new words per day! And in the several years that follow, that number increases to 20 new words per day. If there was ever a time to approach the challenge of becoming bilingual, it’s when you’re young.

Why a Bilingual Nanny?

Face it; if your child is growing up in America, they will be met with the task of learning a second language sometime in their life. Most American students start learning a second language in middle school or in high school, most Universities require language courses, and there are estimates that America will be the largest Spanish speaking country in the world by 2050. No matter which language you desire your child to learn, full immersion with a bilingual nanny is the way to go.

Where do you start?

Firstly, when looking for a bilingual nanny, don’t get so excited about her language skills that you forget to check if she meets your needs as a childcare provider. Cover the basics: you need someone who is flexible enough to adapt to your schedule requirements; maybe you need someone who can cook, or possibly, someone who can drive. Sometimes it helps to use a nanny agency to help you with the hiring process. She must tick all the boxes, and the bilingual aspect is just the cherry on top.

Be Involved

Now, in order for you to be a participant in the bilingual growth of your child, you must educate yourself a bit on how a child’s language skills develop. Know that whichever language your nanny uses to speak to your child, it’s important that she communicates in solely that language- not a mixture of English and said foreign language. You want to create distinct lines between one language and the other so it is clear which vocabulary belongs with which language. Understand that speaking to children in full sentences like you would with an adult, instead of broken baby sentences, promotes healthy mental and lingual development. Communicate what you learn and desire to your nanny initially, so that the whole family is on the same page.

Children all over the globe are learning to become bilingual at a young age, to the point that it becomes a cultural norm. America is behind in this skill, but that doesn’t mean that your child can’t get ahead. Equipping your kids with a second language at as a youngster will give them a leg up in their scholastic studies, and open their minds to different cultures. Your child will thank you for opening doors for them in an ever-blending world.

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