by: Summer Blackhurst
Interesting Advantage to Becoming Bilingual
Joe Budelli from California doesn’t speak Spanish, but his two girls are in a Spanish speaking dual immersion program and he uses native language speakers in his home to help the girls do well in school. Joe was pleasantly surprised, however, when he saw learning another language did more than just help the girls with their academics, it also helped them socially as well.
Years ago Joe decided to use Au Pairs to help with childcare while he and his wife were at work. It’s been more than a decade and he has had eight Au Pairs come stay with their family. The cultural exchange has been better than he could have hoped for. “The main reasons we wanted an Au Pair was to help our girls learn about different cultures and having an Au Pair in the house made a big difference,” said Budelli.
Joe needed the childcare but the additional cultural and bilingual benefits are what really kept him in the Au Pair program. For his kids to be able to learn about different cultures and other upbringings was invaluable to him and his wife because of how many ways it helped their daughters.
“ My daughters were very shy, we tried sending them to a school-learning center, but my kids did not like dealing with people they did not know and our youngest one would cry. Having someone familiar, helped them to feel more comfortable with learning,” said Budelli.
The Budelli parents also wanted someone who would be more willing to assist the family and care for their children, they wanted someone who would give their kids more personalized attention, someone who would be an older sister, and not just a babysitter. Joe has felt lucky that all of the Au Pairs who have come to live with them have been just that; a part of the family.
The Budelli family has used Go Au Pair as their preferred au pair agency. “The best thing is Go Au Pair has never caused me any problems and all the au pairs we get have been very good. The screening process is really convenient – it’s getting even better.”
Because of multiple native speakers, both the Budelli girls speak English and Spanish, even though their parents only speak English. Joe says the girls are fluent and often tease him about his accent whenever he does try to pronounce something in Spanish.
After more than a decade in language studies, the Budelli girls are walking proof that bilingualism can help in more ways than just academics. The girls will be better prepared to work in the global workplace, not only because they can speak in multiple languages, but because the experience has helped them to be less shy, to communicate with confidence, and to see beyond their own culture.