This is me, Cate: linguist, teacher, mother, and language revolutionary.
I thought it would be nice to say ‘Bonjour’ (coucou!) and give you a little intro to Babel Babies, which I co-founded with my lovely friend Ruth in 2011 just after our first babies were born.
The French word ‘bouleversée’ just about describes how I felt after the first couple of months of motherhood! Being a teacher I found it so hard not to be organised, on time and working to a plan, or squeezing in enriching activities between core duties. Ouch! What a shock to the system! But then after the new baby dust settled, Ruth and I both felt a bit, well, bored really. What to do? Did we really just change nappies and discuss nappy changes now? Was “baby brain” permanent or could we ditch it ASAP? And how many languages was it safe to sing Twinkle Twinkle in with our boys before they were six months old?
Lots of questions, so I started reading up on bilingual and multilingual education, and we shared a blog to exchange songs in our favourite languages. I am a French and English teacher with a side of Portuguese and Italian, and Ruth
(I call her the clever one) is a Russian, German and Arabic literary translator and teacher. Yep, three alphabets!
We soon learned that actually, multilingual is NORMAL for a huge percentage of the world’s population. It’s easy to find people whose parents both speak different languages, in a country with an ‘official’ language (e.g. English) and a variety of local languages. In fact, being monolingual is largely reserved for us UK- and US-dwelling English speakers.
Well, we think it’s high time for a little language revolution. Why shouldn’t we discover our inner linguists, even if we are ‘just’ mummies now? Maternity leave is the new gap year, after all right?! And what’s more, learning another language, even if you only ever master the basics, is absolutely brilliant for your brain as an adult. Languages are the ultimate brain gym, and learning languages delays the onset of dementia symptoms for up to five (even six) years, as well as significantly improving stroke recovery rates. We should do our 10,000 steps per day for physical health,
and sing languages every day for our brains!
Come and discover a new language with us at your local Babel Babies multilingual music session for parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers and enjoy something for yourself as well as giving your little ones the best possible start to learning languages. All of our teachers are passionate about helping you learn languages with your little ones, and we are working hard to bring this little language revolution to as many of you as possible.
Sing, learn and love languages together!
Founder and director