Yesterday was a great day. We hosted a baby shower for our dear Venezuelan friend, Sandy Siquier. It was so wonderful to celebrate with Sandy!
There were wonderful old friends, like Barb, from grad school, who planned and executed the fun and beautiful event. Also there was one “kindred spirit” who I didn’t know before. Her name is Cathy and she spoke to her children in her non-native language, with a monolingual husband in a monocultural home…just like me! Her language was Spanish and she was able to offer the children with play dates with native speakers. She said this was a huge help as they didn’t have all the technology available back then. She said that she spoke to the children in Spanish and read stories to them. Since they were living in a monocultural home, however, she said she couldn’t get them to speak Spanish back to her. The children saw her speaking to their father in English and so they obviously knew she spoke English.
This is only the second time in my life where I’ve met someone who raised their children like my husband and I have chosen to do with ours. Surely there are more of us out there, but this was a momentous occasion, especially since Cathy is local and really seems to be a wealth of knowledge!
Do you think it’s possible for our children to speak in French in an environment like our home? (Monolingual father, monocultural family, French is my non-native language) Well, it’s not easy, that’s for certain. For our family, it remains to be seen. We have seen some language production, but what will it look like in five or ten years? We have not been successful yet in finding other families who speak French in the area. We will continue to search! Luckily, we other positive things have happened to encourage them to speak! I will have to find the time to write about them soon! In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Any tips you can give us for our language adventure? We’d love to hear from you!