Miss June graduated from Shanghai International Studies University with a master’s degree in English and has been teaching English for nearly 20 years. She is the mother of two children, and has a happy and internationally-minded family.
The June Family have had hosted 5 EduCare au pairs over the past few years. Miss June is keen to share information about her experiences in cross-cultural communication, parenting and early education with future participants!
Which languages do your children want to learn?
Although the au pair and the children originally focussed on German speaking, now the child is starting to learn English too!
I asked our most recent au pair to help the children with English assignments.
What is more obvious in terms of improvement is the vocabulary. It is easy for children to remember those words and understand the English of the au pair more smoothly compared to learning English from me.
As well as learning German and English, our children also learn to teach Chinese – sharing their language and culture with our au pairs. They enjoy learning calligraphy together and some simple words.
What else is important to you?
I hope that children will learn to follow international etiquette, which is why introducing them to foreign cultures is so important.
Our au pairs will insist that the children say “please” and “thank you” to them. They will insist that the children throw their waste paper into the trash and do their homework properly.
As well as teaching their culture, our au pairs enjoy accompanying the children on trips to the park and local sights.
International au pairs pay more attention to whether children are playing happily when they are accompanying children, rather than interrupting their play under the premise of safety.
How can children learn through play?
When they are accompanying their children, au pairs tend to focus more on developing their hands-on and thinking skills. There are no LEGO classes in Germany, but all our German au pairs grew up using LEGO blocks.
The most common children’s playgrounds there offer children the opportunity to get hands-on with the sand and mud in order to form an understanding of the world and the self. This is something less common in China.
Of course, in the process of playing, we still pay attention to the rules, learn how to read the instructions or to study the map, and how to solve a problem in the best way.