As part of International Education Week this year, we are thrilled to share this story to show how host families and au pairs embody the very best of international exchange and education on a daily basis.
We recently heard from Diana, a host mom from 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 languages to her children. In Diana’s words:
“After 4 years of German au pairs, 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 au pairs brought my girls the “fun” aspects of the German language by making it come alive with creative craft activities and all the fun outings, whereas I was able to reinforce all their German learning through reading and more traditional teaching. So in our most recent au pair cycle, 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 a half years, learning languages is just pure fun! In short, the cultural enrichment stemming from understanding the language itself is 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 lifetime 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! These stories of cultural exchange and learning underscore the importance of programs like Au Pair in America. We are proud to bring international education to so many families, children and au pairs every year. Happy International Education Week!