One of the most valuable features of the cultural exchange experience that hosting an au pair provides for our host families is the love of language and learning that it brings to the host children. If you want your children to grow up learning another language (or several!), au pairs are a great way to give kids regular exposure and daily practice with foreign language and vocabulary, during their most formative years.
One of our host parents shared about her experience hosting au pairs from three different language backgrounds who have imparted their young children with an education in and love for German, Spanish and Chinese:
“After four 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 outing activities, whereas I was able to reinforce all their German learning through reading and more traditional teaching. So in our most recent au pair cycle renewal, we decided to expand the twins’ learning with two additional languages.
We have a native Spanish-speaking au pair and a Mandarin-speaking au pair who split the longer workdays that I have. The twins know very well that Spanish is spoken only with Jenny, and Mandarin is spoken only with Yu Jue.
Very recently, my husband remarked that the girls don’t stop speaking Spanish! Mandarin is their fourth language, and they love singing and engaging in our au pair’s 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 4½ 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 are giving our girls a gift of a life time, and we are so humbly grateful for these opportunities!”
Are you interested in an intercultural child care experience that will immerse your child(ren) in another language and culture? Learn more about the educational benefits of hosting an au pair!