What are hardworking parents to do these days when they can’t find the time to teach their children the language skills they want? ¿Pues qué más? Hire a bilingual nanny! At least, that’s what the website FindaNanny.net is insinuating in their latest post, 10 Ways Bilingual Nannies Can Benefit Children. Among the reasons they list for this being a sound parenting decision are: bilingual nannies can help children master a foreign language, they can introduce children to a different culture, they can serve as linguistic role models for children, and they can encourage a love of diversity, as well as help bilingual parents reinforce their non-English tongue, among other reasons.
I kind of like that last reason! Reinforcing. Hmm…
Now, I’ll be honest. I don’t really know too much about the FindaNanny network, other than that they brought their article to my attention, and that they apparently can help connect nannies and parents in some way. Still, their reasoning does kind of make sense. We all know how hard it is to get these huercos to be fully bilingual.
My reason for writing this post, however, was not only to tell you about this article. What it brings to mind, at least in my mind, is this question: Is it becoming more acceptable, even more popular maybe, to raise bilingual children in this country? That hasn’t always been the case if it is. Not too long ago the idea of passing a law to make English the official language of the United States was getting a lot of play all over the media. What changed?
I won’t pretend to have the answer to that question. I don’t. Instead, as someone who grew up in a bilingual, bicultural household, and who would very much like to have Edgar do the same, I say “Ojala. Ojala que finalmente we’re gaining a true appreciation for the benefits of bilingualism and biculturalism.”
And if we do hire a bilingual nanny for his/her language and cultural skills, let’s make sure and compensate them accordingly too!