So The New York Times reports that city families are seeking out non-English-speaking nannies to teach their kids a foreign language. Or I should say second language, since the whole point of New York is that there's no such thing as a foreign language.
The whole thing is premised on the conventional wisdom, which is basically based on research, that it's easier to learn two languages early. So there's that "wanting to give my kid an edge" argument.
But then the private school folks weigh in, and warn that bilingual doesn't help your kid get into preschool, and if anything, the associated verbal development delays may actually hurt your kid's test scores. Yikes!
And anyway, Mandarin's the hot "get a jump on Harvard" language, but almost all the parents in the Times story want Spanish-speaking nannies. Because it turns out to be a Roots thing. If parents are asking West Indian nannies to speak to their kids only in Creole now, it didn't make the article. Wouldn't that help on the kid's Lycee application?
This is what happens when the NY/Region section tries to take on a Style section topic. I can just imagine the eyerolling at Babble and New York Magazine right now. Meanwhile, hats off to Skip*Hop for the sweet product placement of their urban chic playmat.