Info : Each month we share an interview of a multilingual family from around the world. The interview shares their story as well as their challenges, successes, tips and advice. If you would like your family to participate in an interview, please contact us here.
Introduce yourself and your family
My name is Stacy Mazzara, I am an American living in Evry, France since 2011. I have a bachelors in International and Comparative Politics with a double minor in International Law and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from the American University in Paris. I am currently pursuing a double Masters in Psychology and Early Child Education (Mental Health Focus ). I am also pursuing Montessori certification for ages 0-12. I have my own business “Ateliers d’Inspiration Montessori” where I give Montessori-inspired workshops in English to children ages 1-6 ; I also offer English Lessons to all ages . I also am a private contractor for Domissori, which is a Montessori workshop company based in the northern Île de France . I am also an animator of English for Tap Tip Top, an early education company and I teach two preschools (maternelles) in southern Île de France. My short terms goals are to pursue my psychology diploma and become a psychologist while also running a Montessori preschool and eventuellly a Montessori elementary school. My long term goals are to study Conflict Resolution and Community Building for my doctorate and to be able to open an NGO for battered woman and children which would set up shelters globally with Montessori programs ranging from ages 0-18. I also want to open a Montessori middle school and a Montessori high school in Ile de France .
I have two sons: Haroun who is 4 1/2 and Ayoub who is 2 and 4 months. They are both American and Tunisian and will have the French nationality at 18 years old.
What languages do you speak ?
I speak English , French , Arabic , Spanish and beginner sign language.
How many and which ones do you speak on a daily basis ?
I speak 4 daily; English , French, Arabic and sign language.
Are you teaching your children these languages ?
Yes since birth.
Do you homeschool, if so, how do you incoporate the languages into learning ?
Haroun is partly homeschooled; in the morning we work on writing and in the evening we do a Montessori English workshop. We then read for one hour in French, English and Arabic, he also goes to preschool. Ayoub is 100 percent homeschooled.
We homeschool 2 days in English , 2 days in French , and 1 day in Arabic.
Tell us about one of your successes.
I taught Haroun all the sounds of the alphabet starting with lower case letters , then upper case. We followed the Bob books – amazon affiliate phonetic reading system . Letter sound by letter sound reading . Now, Haroun can read Bob books level 1 and 2.
Because Montessori is so liberating for the child, I do not have any challenges . They love to learn , if they are frustrated or want to stop , I let them that’s all.
What do you talk about at the dinner table ?
Our day and our goals.
What are some other ways besides just speaking the language that have exposed your children to your’s or your spouse’s languages ? (ex. cultural events, food, travel)
We go to the mosque every Friday for Arabic and the children attend Quran school on Saturdays. For French, we live in France and go to museums. We speak French , English , Arabic and use sign language in our home .
What is some advice you would like to offer to other multilingual families?
Always speak your mother tongue to your children and use the language of the country when outside and you can also incorporate in the home.
Name up to 3 resources you find useful for your family.
– The Library
– Maria Montessori’s works
– Attachment Theory
– Attachment Parenting
– Gente Discipline
Which langauge would you recommend someone to learn and why ?
Any language because knowledge has it’s fruits in all of them .
Stacy is a holistic American mom who implements organic eating, Montessori homeschool and Islamic values in her everyday life. She has her own business giving Montessori workshops and English lessons. She is fascinated by psychology and the development of the brain. You can find her at Ateliers d’Inspiration Montessori on Facebook and Instagram.