Moving Our Multilingual Family to South America

Posted by:  |  Category: Daily Blog


Our Multilingual Journey Takes a New Turn

Our little multilingual family has some exciting news! We will be moving to South America (Ecuador) in 2014!

This definitely poses new challenges and exciting opportunities as a family who has multilingualism at the center of mostly everything we do (i.e., doctors visits, children’s books). We are already thinking about how our linguistic interactions will change as we establish ourselves in our new home aka the middle of the world.

For example, we have considered changing our use of Spanish for English with our children once we are in Ecuador, especially if we decide to put them in a Spanish school. We have also started to get really excited about the different dialects and languages our girls will be exposed to which include: Quechua, Spanish (& other Spanish varieties), English, & possibly a fourth as many of the private schools in Ecuador offer other European languages (i.e., French, German).

Another change we have already started implementing here is the purchasing of English books! In an earlier post I wrote about getting rid of all of our children’s books written in English that we had in our home in order to increase the status of Spanish in our daily life. I am now having a blast purchasing English (and bilingual) books to add to our collection.

On another note, I am also overthinking the challenges that lie ahead. For example, I, personally, have never lived in another country. In fact, I pride myself in learning Spanish in the U.S. and wonder how the new context will shape my children and I as multilinguals. In other words, I strongly identify as a Spanish speaking Chicana and hope I will be able to pass that on to my nenas. I look forward to sharing our journey over the next few months as we make this huge international move. Please feel free to offer any advice (such as books to read) about moving internationally with little children.

{Photo by ximenacab}

Recent Posts