Yes! I let my kids talk to strangers… in Chinese. Of course, I am there watching from a safe distance, but I want my children to feel comfortable talking to folks who speak Mandarin outside of the little cozy circle that I have created for them.
They currently speak to their tutor, babysitter and swim teacher in Mandarin but I want them to be able to understand different accents and faster/slower voices. I want to see how they would do “in the real world” with their Mandarin. Granted, speaking in Mandarin to random strangers in IKEA does not exactly mimic the “real world”, but it at least opens their ears to accents that they may not have heard before or a pace that they may never have encountered.
What can you do?
So the next time you hear someone speaking in your target second language, nudge your little ones to “speak to strangers”!