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OPEN YOUR CHILD TO NEW SOUNDS, NEW WORDS, NEW STORIES.
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It is never too early
to learn a new language. I am not going to bore you with the old tune: "early language acquisition", "brain plasticity", "babies are like blank hard drives ready to be filled with data"... No no: I was going to say, it is never too early to rouse a kid's language curiosity. To tell him how other kids around the world say hello, thank you, dog, and tanker truck. To sing them a song they know so well that they sit there, transfixed, when they hear it in a foreign language for the first time.
When my son was born,
I took a break from my career for the first time in my life. I had taught French and international students for 14 years, as a lecturer, and then as a tenured University Professor. I also took a break from the road; from the travel notebooks; from the blogging and the photo projects. I dived into something else entirely: carrot puree; frantic milk-bottle shaking; the ability to laugh when a grumpy male burps in my kitchen.
My toddler son speaks English and French: from the day he was born, I chose to use English when talking to him. It is such an important part of my life, I felt I should share this with him. Now these two languages are part of his world, and he is not in the least taken aback when hearing other kids speak languages he doesn't understand, such as Spanish, Chinese, or Arabic. Languages are like huge, beautifully-wrapped boxes: they are filled with humans, countries, emotions, art, poetry, games and stories. There's a world of them out there, that your kids should definitely explore.