As another great week of school is near its end, I sit down and reflect on all the amazing things my students have taught me. Yes, I am the teacher, but they teach me new things everyday as well. This may not be news for many out there, but it was just so amazing that I had to share it with all of you, especially if you are raising bilingual and bicultural children.
“My class was listening to me read Esperanza renace by Pam Muñoz. It has become a ritual that right after lunch, they all come in and ‘cool down’ as they enjoy a wonderful story. After a few lines, I usually stop to think out loud and let them all know what is happening in my head. They also share their thoughts and many are eager to let me know the different connections they have made or are making. It was here that one of my students shared an experience (similar to the one the main character in the book had experienced) in Spanish and all a sudden she went from English to speaking in Spanish with a perfect Argentinian accent. I had heard her speak Spanish several times before but this accent was new. So, I could not help it and asked her about the ‘new version’ of her Spanish. She told me that she usually uses that accent, but at times forgets. Amazingly enough, her mom is from Peru (with a beautiful Spanish accent as well), but my student had ‘chosen’ the Argentinian one. Proudly she said that her little brother has the Peruvian accent, but she has the Argentinian accent.”
I was fascinated by it. Do children actually ‘choose’ an accent or it just happens? I would love to hear from all of you raising bilingual children: Does your child have a Spanish accent? If so, from where?
As always, I am captivated by all your comments and emails so don’t forget to drop a line and let me know.
Photo by V. H. Hammer