Today I stumbled upon the Stream of Consciousness Sunday series. A 5 minute brain dump of words! A fabulous idea!
We live in France, my French is terrible, I’ve been here 2.5 years and I hoped within the first 6 months to be fluent! Oh how my expectation crashed and burned! I made terrible mistakes and still do. I found myself resigning myself, in conversations to smiling politely and nodding often at the wrong time! BUT! What a wonderful opportunity for BiP!
When I got pregnant we were already living in France, my husband accompanied me to all my doctors appointments to help me understand the bits I missed and to help me communicate – I have no idea how I would have managed without him. When BiP was born that was when the questions about what language we would speak to her in. “In English of course?” I would reply. We speak English at home, anything else would be unnatural. My priority is to give her the richest language experience I can offer and French is certainly not that. So English it is.
BiP already, at 12months, understands both English and French. She doesn’t say much but that is to be expected. She certainly smiles upon receiving glowing compliments when we are out and when someone says “Au Revoir” she waves bye-bye.
I am always irked by the monolinguals, in France, who criticize the fact that we speak English to BiP. “Well, you live in France, you MUST speak French to her” is what I am often faced with. How can I possibly do that? The other day I told someone I could F*&% the price on something rather than lower it – a simple mistake in pronunciation as the former is baiser vs. the correct word baisSer!!! What kind of example would that be?
I have no doubt that BiP will speak French at school – ok, she may lack certain vocabulary and may struggle for the first few months but at age 4 is that really a problem? Some think it is. I tend to ignore such opinions and carry on. I know there will come a day that BiP’s French will be better than mine and I will be scouring the internet looking up what she will have said but that’s fine. She will speak both languages without effort and the world will be her oyster, well, a lot of the world.
Right now, given that English is rarely spoken in the part of France that we are in, is to find a network of like minded parents who speak English with their children to ensure that when BiP does go off to school that she’ll also be exposed to other English speakers.
How are you dealing with raising a bilingual baby?
This was my first 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
- Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
- Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
- Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
- Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
- Link up your post at all.things.fadra.
- Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.