Teaching your child a language you don’t understand?

A church friend of mine, Meryl, runs the only trilingual school in South Africa, Linguamites. At Linguamites children are taught in English, Chinese and Zulu. I REALLY wanted to send Erin to this school, but we live to far away from Fourways and the commute each morning would be crazy.

I do however REALLY want Erin to learn a second (Zulu) and possibly third (Afrikaans) language. I know the advantage of speaking more than one language as I’ve always been bilingual (English and Afrikaans). Our nanny is trying to teach Erin Zulu, but I does feel strange that my daughter may be able to speak a language that I don’t understand at all. But I want her to have the opportunities I never had. And NOW is the age to teach languages – to children, as they are like sponges and I can already see how many Zulu words she says without even thinking.

Meryl wrote this blog post last week and I can totally relate to this. I really want to learn Zulu too (and so does Damien) but I feel like we just don’t have the time at the moment and also don’t feel “gifted” in the languages department….

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela


One thought on “Teaching your child a language you don’t understand?

  1. I have been thinking about the same thing. We are also a bit far but it is in my mind. I feel bad because I learnt Afrikaans from the neighbour and Nicky doesn’t have that.


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