I was born in Australia to English-speaking parents and did not speak a word of French until high school. Fast-forward a few decades, married to an English speaker, I had the, perhaps crazy, idea to only speak French to my son. Ok, in the intervening years, I had fallen in love with the language, majored in French at university, spent a year in France as an English assistant in two French colleges and had been teaching the language to secondary students for, well, longer than I would care to admit.
Lesson 1 - I knew very little to start with, but that did not put me off trying - and it should not put you off either, if you are prepared to work hard and learn along the way.
Lesson 2 - A simple, crazy idea can change your life. e.g. Step 1 - let's see how only speaking French to my son turns out ... Step who-knows-how-many - let's go and live in France! This was definitely a road less travelled (thanks Robert Frost) option for us.
Lesson 3 - I love the well-rounded, global citizens that my children have become. Would this have happened if French and France had not become part of our family make-up? Possibly not. At least not as quickly.
Lesson 4 - In my quest to respond in French to the increasingly complex and philosphical questions posed by my son, I have to keep learning ... every day.
Lesson 5 - My life, and that of my family, has been enriched. Speaking another language does that. It allows a deeper understanding of another culture that would not otherwise have been possible.
Lesson 6 - It has not always been easy.
SO, to answer the questions of those who have contacted me on the subject of bringing up baby bilingually - what exactly did I do?
In the next couple of posts, I will take a look at our language journey so far, including posting the first few pages of what became my cheat sheets of baby language and phrases.
Please do contact me with questions and/or comments. I'd love to hear from you.