“My husband and I are both first generation US-born Cuban-Americans. We moved away from all of our spanish-speaking family but would like to raise a bilingual child.

I’ve been researching how to accomplish this and I’m extremely overwhelmed with the amount of information I’m finding and have no idea where to start. There are so many products out there that claim to help teach a child English and Spanish that I don’t know which one to go with (or what combination to use). Any tips? Any starter kits that I should look in to?

Many thanks!


Hola / Hi Roxanne ~

I agree that there is an overwhelming amount of information, myths, products and free advice from family and friends when it comes to raising your child to be bilingual!  It’s enough to make your head spin.

Fear not – that maternal instinct is so often what we all need to listen to and follow when it comes right down to any big decision surrounding our child’s well being and development.

I hope to provide you a few places to turn to in the following bullet points:

  • Always, always, always I refer moms and teachers to the book titled The Bilingual Edge which is chock-full of great advice for monolingual and bilingual parents who hope to raise their children speaking more than one language.  When advice in this format comes from moms who are in the trenches daily with their own families it takes on a lot more credibility.  Once you read this book you will be better prepared to make a great decision on how you and your husband want to introduce Spanish and English to your child – a way that fits your lifestyle and beliefs.  The book (Kindle edition or hard copy) is easily found on Amazon.com.
  • Next I point you to a comprehensive article on raising bilingual children that I published a couple years back (look to point #5 specifically for Spanish-speaking families).
  • Lastly (see – I told you I would give you just a FEW so as not to overwhelm you!) I suggest you stay on SpanglishBaby.com as an active member.  Listening in, contributing as you can, and learning from others mistakes, experiences and life lessons will certainly add to your ammunition as you create the best learning ground for your bilingual baby, toddler and preschool age child.

The key to remember is that the first five years of life are in fact THE MOST FORMATIVE.   Wire that little brain with as much quality, enriched learning as possible so that he will be ready to take on all of the global greatness of our communities!

Happy Educating!  ¡Sea feliz educando!

Boca Beth

To send us a question now, just submit an email to madre@spanglishbaby.com with the subject: QUESTION FOR THE EXPERTS. Please make sure you include your name as you would like it to appear on the post.

Beth Butler.-Bilingual educator of young children and strives to create better communication within our increasingly diverse society. She is the founder of the internationally acclaimed Boca Beth language learning series which has garnered various parenting awards.  Ms. Butler lived in Chile and Mexico where she learned Spanish as her second language and has been bilingual and biliterate for more than 30 years. She has spent over 25 years in the field of preschool and elementary education writing and recording four bilingual music CDs in Spanish and English, as well as producing three bilingual educational movies for children.  Read Beth Butler´s answers here.

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