What I love love love about Montreal is how multicultural and multilingual it is. This environment full of diversity gives you the opportunity to visit different cultures and to approach people from various backgrounds without really having to travel. It’s fabulous to be able to hear people talk in at least four different languages throughout the day and still be in the same city you woke up in. Every time we go to the park with my daughter (or anywhere else for that matter), we experience it all over again and we all blend together and get to know each other, sometimes in French, sometimes in English, and other times in another language. How fantastic is this? How big of a gift are we giving our bilingual (trilingual or more) children by immersing them in such rich culture? Not only we allow them to become open minded individuals with a knowledge and a respect of what’s out there, but we also facilitate the learning and more technical part of the language. I remember how hard it was to learn some of the more difficult languages I know.
We, in my family, are personally witnessing the bilingual learning process with our almost 3 year-old daughter. She spoke mostly English (with a few words of French here and there) for the first two years of her life. Before moving to Montreal, she understood me fully as I have been only speaking French to her since birth but I would say she was in “English mode”. She slowly started using more and more French words as we went along (we’ve only been here six months). Since she started daycare, two months ago, her language skills have exploded, It is absolutely crazy to comprehend as I can tell you that she is now 100% bilingual. TWO MONTHS!THAT’S IT! That’s what I would call immersion! All I have been working so hard on with her for almost three years is paying off BIG TIME!
I am amazed and so happy to be a witness of her growing and learning process. My heart smiles when she comes home singing Pirouetteuuuu, cacahuèteuuu . She is getting what I was always envisioning for my kids and even more. She got her English basics back in the United States and will keep that with her forever. She will keep on building her English skills with her dad as we will go about life in French here in Quebec, and who knows which other languages she will decide to learn. I bet ya this will also depend on who she decides to marry, but that’s another story 🙂