Thursday, December 04, 2008

Is good English necessary?

If you are trying to go to a country where English is the language like US, I highly recommend you have a good understanding of the language. This applies to all countries by the way. However, I get emails from au pairs asking me this questions specifically about the US.

First of all, it is imperative to have a good understanding of the language because of emergencies. Think of an emergency situation where you need to call the emergency services. You would need to be able to describe what is going on and maybe apply first aid. This always concerns me as with children anything can happen.

Naturally, you should be able to speak some English to communicate with the family and children. The more fluent you are the better it is, but most of us become au pairs to learn a language better.

In my opinion, take all the language classes you can or study on your own before the big trip. Practise with your friends and find people who are native speaker of the language before you go to see how well you can communicate. People will be understanding and speak slower if you tell them you are still learning and it will be faster to pick up the language once you live with native speakers.

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