About a week ago I posted a note in Spanish about my
social life as an expat mother. I told on that occasion that since I became a mother my isolation as an expatriate have become more obvious to me. Specially because most of my friends here in Budapest have no kids, therefore, somehow after my daughter born I felt like I have less friends than before. I have been trying to be nice and friendly in the playground and in every other place where children and mums are involved but no luck so far… I haven’t been able to meet a perfect match for “best mum friend”.
Last week when coming back from the playground with my baby-girl I noticed a paper hanging on one of the windows of the local Cultural Center inviting mothers and babies to come one day a week for an hour of chat in English. I took a picture with my phone and after looking into the details at home I decided to give it a try.
We have been this very week at the “Mums English Club” (MEC) and it turned out to be a really nice small group with mothers who share interest for foreign languages, some of them have lived abroad or they are language teachers themselves. The mother who started the group, Mia, is Hungarian but lived in the UK for some years, so her English is very good. Mia and her husband decided to bring up their daughter bilingual (Hungarian-English) even if none of them is an English native speaker.
Some people may feel uncomfortable talking to their children in a foreign language (I’m one of them, I only talk to my daughter in Spanish) but this tendency is getting more and more popular over the world. It is not a bad idea to expose kids to different languages when they are very young. It have been proved to be a good technique for helping them to pick up a new language in a more natural way than conventional teaching.
To be honest I never though about to bring up my baby in three languages but this experience have made me think about it as a possibility. My husband and I speak in English to each other most of the time so she hear us talking in a third language. My only concern is how to handle my communication with her. The experts say that each family member should talk to the child in only one language. I talk to her in Spanish always and my husband in Hungarian always. So in which language shall I address to her during the time we are in the English Club? Would the occasional talks in English from my side confuse her?
If someone would like to share an experience on this subject or give me any advice regarding bringing up kids in 3 languages, please leave me a comment 🙂 I would appreciate your help. Thanks!
Here you go one of the songs we sing in the Club. This one is probably my favorite so far… although I still have to learn quite a few songs by heart before next Friday. Singing is not my thing, but I’m doing my best!