Looking for bilingual baby sitters?

One thing Lidia and I are trying to remember is that raising our daughter is not some ‘personal project’ to elevate her against her peers in some kid of horrible competition. We see it as vital for to to fully access both sides of her culture, which will enable her to have more choices and richer experiences later.

Of course, in our case, we have two native tongues – Papa speaks English, Mama Spanish – but some parents may be have reasonable fluency in another language and want to pass on what they know sooner rather than later when little one is most alive to language acquisition. One trend in the US, picked up by the New York Times, are parents who do not speak another language to any fluency themselves but are seeking ways to expose their children to different language early on:

When Maureen Mazumder enrolled her daughter, Sabrina, in a Spanish singalong class a year ago, she hoped it would be the first step in helping her learn a second language. But the class did not seem to do the trick, so Ms. Mazumder decided to hire a baby sitter, one who would not only care for her daughter but also speak to her exclusively in Spanish.

Ms. Mazumder, whose daughter is nearly 3, has company. Although a majority of parents seeking caretakers for their children still seek ones who will speak to their children in English, popular parenting blogs and Web sites indicate that a noticeable number of New York City parents are looking for baby sitters and nannies to help their children learn a second language, one they may not speak themselves.New York Times

Is it a good idea? Why not! Anything that exposes children to another language, whether its foreign babysitters, foreign films or music can only help develop an enthusiasm or awareness.

Lidia, who is highly fluent in French, is keen to expose little one to that language, perhaps a little French, German and Russian too, languages with while she also has some knowledge.

Are you a parent with fluency or perhaps no fluency in a language that you are trying to teach your child? Leave a comment and let us know what techniques you are using.