021: Michele Cherie | How Non-Native Speakers Can Raise Their Kids Bilingual

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My guest in this podcast episode is Michele Cherie and she’s the founder of Intentional Mama. She writes about making purposeful choices for culturally-rich, perfectly paced family life–with a French twist.

Michele is a former French teacher who is now dedicated to raising her two children and she’s also a non native speaker who speaks French to her daughters. I was very excited to talk to Michele about her views on language and raising bilingual kids as a non native speaker.

Michele Cherie

In this episode of Bilingual Kids Rock podcast:

00:45 Introduction to Michele Cherie – founder of Intentional Mama

02:23 How did Michele learn language that paved the way to her career as a French teacher?

05:41 What made her decide to teach her daughter to learn French?

07:45 Did Michele go through French children’s books before she started reading to your daughter?

10:15 What was her family’s reaction to her decision to teach French to her kids?

12:17 Michele’s take on her husband speaking Thai to their kids

13:00 Did it take a long time for Michele to speak French to her daughter?

16:40 Does Michele have any tricks of learning French?

18:00 Did she have a hard time when she also started speaking French to her son?

19:01 What language does her kids speak to each other? French or English

24:12 Does Michele speak French or English to her children in public?

26:01 Discussing road trips and moving to a state

27:09 Michele recommends one of the best resources book for parents teaching French

29:30 Should parents continue speaking a non native language to their kids even if they feel they’re not up to par with the language level?

33:42 Does she have to put in more effort to immerse her kids in the French culture since Michele grew up in a different one?

35:40 World citzens VS one culture citizens

37:00 Michele Cherie’s career from volunteer to French teacher

39:24 Homeschooling – Is it a path that Michele wants to do for her kids?

43:11 What is Michele’s advise for parents who are looking to raise their kids

45:10 Closing Remarks


  • “I think studying abroad is the best way to become fluent and fully immerse yourself to be more comfortable in the language”
  • On teaching her daughter French – “It’s a gift that I want to be able to give to my child. It’s something that I really love – the French culture and language”
  • “Progression is more important than perfection”
  • “Everything you give to your child is beneficial. Just do your best. Seek out a community, get support from native speakers and organize a play group for your kids”

 Items mentioned in this episode:

Raising a Bilingual Child by Barbara Pierson

Les Petits Livres – French books for children


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