We can all agree that there are so many benefits of children learning to speak more than one language. However, for many parents, the biggest obstacles to helping their child become bilingual are that they either don’t speak a second language or they simply don’t have the time. Learning a foreign language is not best achieved by lessons alone, but through immersing yourself daily in the culture, music and different way of life.
One hour of lessons a week isn’t going to make a child bilingual; it requires constant practice and exposure to become fluent. This is where a bilingual nanny can really help, as they can speak the language as part of daily life and emphasis learning through play and daily interaction rather than just lessons. Plus, it has the added benefit of being cost-effective rather than paying for a nursery and then language lessons on top.
So we’ve decided; a bilingual nanny will help a child learn a second language, now the big question is: which language do we want our nanny to help our child learn? Thankfully, a recent study₁ has narrowed it down for us. The Centre for Economics and Business Research and Opinion conducted the study in partnership with Heathrow airport, to see how language can impact children’s lives and the role it plays in everyday life. Most importantly, they studied which languages tend to lead to the best career opportunities as an adult. The study involved a survey of 2,001 parents with children under the age of 18, along with another survey of more than 500 business leaders.
So which languages took the top spot? Results indicated that children should be learning French, German, and/or Mandarin if they want to be successful within the next 10 years and maximize their employability. The study also confirmed that aside from being able to speak another language, the academic and interpersonal skills that can be gained from learning a new language are important as well.
At Greycoat Lumleys, our experience has shown that the most commonly sought after languages are French, German and Spanish. However, we are seeing an increasing trend in clients requesting Russian and Arabic speaking nannies. The majority of nannies on our database are British, European and Eastern European and we are able to offer nannies with many language skills including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Hungarian and Swedish.