A tête-à-tête with her 15-month-old child proved a life-changer for a Birmingham mum who has started a business teaching French to toddlers.
Jennifer Gray, from Sutton Coldfield, went from teaching daughter Delilah-Grace about wee wees to oui ouis – and it went so well she is making a career out of it.
The 34-year-old said she found her youngest picked up the language surprisingly quickly and is seeking to capitalise on a vogue for bilingual babies sweeping the country.
She has bought into the franchise for Frenchtastic and has begun classes for little ones in the region.
She said: “Young people soak in languages at a phenomenal rate – and the younger you start the better.
“I was amazed when I started teaching Delilah a few words – within 10 minutes she was repeating the words back to me.
“There is a lot of research that shows that toddlers brought up in bilingual households tend to have a stronger thirst for knowledge and develop a higher IQ later in life.
“But it’s about more than just learning new words. We have lots of fun and it is a great way of getting little cherubs ready for the school years ahead.”
Mother-of-three Jennifer left her job of 15 years as a Training and Recruitment Manager at PSA Peugeot Citroen, to pursue her passion of teaching French to little ones.
She has begun sessions with toddlers at Streetly Children’s Centre, and classes in local nurseries.
The youngsters pick up words through play, singing and drama, and the focus is on an enjoyable and engaging experience.
Jennifer has begun to establish links with nurseries, schools, childminders across the region to deliver regular classes to youngsters aged between 18 months and seven years and above. Once established, she would like to develop classes for older kids and teenagers that bring fun into the learning process.
Language classes for youngsters have become a growth industry amid a rising tide of research showing the benefits of dual languages.
Research published by the University of Singapore last month showed the benefits stretch farther than just language, as bilingual youngsters tended to have greater information processing skills.