My most recent wonderings regarding V include whether or not we should begin teaching her a foreign language while her brain is in the glory days of malleability. Because I have minimal foreign language skills and exposure, I’d have to rely heavily on a “program,” like Muzzy. I wouldn’t mind this, but I’d want to make sure we choose an effective program… and a useful language.
Until now, my argument against employing “baby talk” programs has been the seemingly arbitrariness of choosing which language to teach an infant; how am I supposed to know if she will be living in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood, working in China for the FBI, or leading a mission in Quebec 30 years from now? After all, if she needs to know a language as an adult, won’t she be able to learn enough basics to survive? I expressed these thoughts to a dear bilingual friend who set me straight with the stats about how languages open up dormant areas of the brain and expand an individual’s emotional IQ, etc. I decided to dedicate this question to prayer and wait for God to reveal which language would be best for Vivienne.
Strangely (or not), as of now, I feel like His answer is that we are free to choose; that it’s okay for me not to choose Chinese or Spanish for practical/futuristic reasons, but instead to choose, say, French because of its beauty.
Even stranger (or not) is that as soon as I began praying about it, Vivienne began asking me about the American Sign Language she saw on our beat-up VHS copy of Christmas Eve On Sesame Street. “What’s this, Mommy?” she’s been asking as she imitates Linda’s hands about taking Christmas with you all through the year. I don’t know if sign language opens the same dormant portals of the brain as auditory languages do, but I do know that using our hands to communicate language opens portals of the heart that auditory languages don’t. Perhaps we’ll pursue a bit of both here on Hickory Road…
Do any of my five faithful commenters (or others!) have wisdom on this matter?