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Full time helper - effect on child's acquisition of English?

  1. #9
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElizaD View Post
    Of course I am delighted that my child (like me) will become accustomed to hearing Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Indonesian and a plethora of other foreign languages - rather offensive of you to suggest otherwise. My concern was about sustained exposure to incorrect English at a crucial developmental stage.
    I fail to see the difference between exposure to your helper vs exposure to Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Hindi and countless other languages your child will get exposed to at school, friends house and at the playground.
    But it seems that this is nothing to worry about.
    Indeed.

  2. #10
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    ..I taught some Philippino
    A small nit to pick.
    The nation is called Philippines
    The people of that nation are called Filipinos
    http://english.stackexchange.com/que...es-vs-filipino

  3. #11
    ElizaD is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardcoombs View Post
    I fail to see the difference between exposure to your helper vs exposure to Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Hindi and countless other languages your child will get exposed to at school, friends house and at the playground.
    Indeed.
    Howard, there is a big difference between general ambient exposure to other languages and daily interaction between a carer and a child - even if the child-carer communication is in order to achieve a practical end it is likely to result in the child learning the language by repetition of what he hears. And I'd expect a good helper to make active efforts to encourage the child to speak/learn. On the other hand, unless I chose to send my son to a Mandarin playgroup (which I may well do), or he has a little friend who speak to him in (e.g.) Cantonese his exposure to other languages will be ambient at best.

    Further, even more active exposure to other languages is unlikely to result in confusion with English; I have it on good authority (numerous bilingual families) that kids are very good at knowing which words belong to which language and don't mix them up mid-sentence very often. If he learns bits of those other languages it will be from native speakers and the grammar will be correct. That is not the same as learning a language from someone who does not speak it correctly (this is no slight on the intelligence of domestic helpers by the way, just a recognition that learners never get it right 100% - I'd have the same issue if my husband was the non-native speaker!). I hope that clarifies.

  4. #12
    KPClaire is offline Registered User
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    I would say there's nothing to worry about, my daughter uses all sorts of colloquialisms, my favourite being mummyaaa from her Cantonese friends and oh my with a very Phillipinna accent, I find it very cute. My husband admits that most of his English is spoken with Chinese grammar applied, but all my Eurasian friends who attended ESF schools speak grammatically correctly and are more likely to be able to tell you why a sentence is grammatically correct/incorrect than most kids educated in the UK. I am pretty certain that with a little bit of help on my part she'll speak English well. I also hope that she manages to learn mandarin and cantonese too, she's doing ok so far, my biggest concern is that at two my daughter and can already talk to her dad in mandarin thus totally keeping me out of the conversation. But I can't help feeling proud when I hear her switch between languages a huge advantage that I will never have.
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    recurring likes this.

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