I’m bilingual: French and English. I always spoke French at home, but went to an English school and embraced the English pop-culture.
When we chose to have children my husband and I also made the decision to raise them in a bilingual household. We speak English to each other, but I speak French to the boys and my husband speaks English to them.
The other morning Thomas was enjoying an episode of Cat in the Hat – one of his favourite shows. The Cat was taking Sally and Nick to see a Monarch Butterfly. Exciting stuff! But what drew even more excitement for me was when Thomas said “on va voir des papillions?”
Yes Thomas, you’re going to see butterflies. There is no doubt that even one month before his third birthday my little guy is bilingual.
It started happening about a year ago when the words really started to flow. He would tell his dad something in English and tell me the same thing in French when I walked into the room. It always amazed me how he could switch so easily from one language to another and know when to use each one. All this at such a young age.
I grew up in a French household and was fortunate enough to attend an English school. I was bilingual by the time I entered Grade 1. Thomas, is already ahead of where I was and James will be too. That begs the question… what language will be imposed as a third one, and even fourth?