Anorak | Speaking Her Mind

Speaking Her Mind

by | 26th, November 2005

‘SEE little Armani and Jake with their new and oh-so cheap Slovakian au pair. What was your name again, dear? “My name is Svetlana.” Oh, yes, Sylvia. Such a nice girl. So very good with the children. And did we mention how cheap she was?

One teensy-weensy problem is that she can’t speak English. Or to put a spin on it, she speaks English every bit as well as two-year-old Jake.

And that’s not so good. As Dr Catherine Alfred, a consultant speech and language therapist, says: “Speech and language difficulties are common and growing, and can lead to learning difficulties later on. Nannies not having a proper grasp of English would be a factor”.

The advice, echoed by Margaret Morrisey, of the National Confederation of Parent Teachers’ Associations, is that for junior to thrive, nanny must have a good grasp of the local idiom.

As Morrisey says, “foreign care may slow the child down”. She warns that it’s a big temptation for the carer to speak to children in their native tongues. “That is where the danger lies.”

The danger being that Jake will not know how to demand chocolate in the proper manner, or that he’ll do so in faltering Serbo-Croat.

We would like to stress that the examples used are just that. Many au pairs from Eastern Europe speak faultless English.

It could

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Posted: 26th, November 2005 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink