Bilingual is Better
Photo by ~My aim is true~

Photo by ~My aim is true~

Even though I still have some time, there’s something that’s been gnawing at me lately. And even though I debated a bit about whether or not I should write this entry, I eventually decided the timing was perfect.

First because we’ll be focusing on dual language immersion education the whole week and second–and most importantly–because after all the (six!) weeks since launching SpanglishBaby, I feel like we’ve already built a pretty impressive community. We love reading your comments because they’re both insightful and inspiring.

So, I’m going to be a bit selfish today and this time around, I’m going to present you with my problem in the hopes that you can enlighten me a bit, or at least give me a different perspective, something I might have missed.

The question is whether or not I should send Vanessa to a dual language immersion school where she will be taught in both English and Spanish. It’s not that I don’t want my daughter to be fully bilingual and bi-literate (able to read, write and speak) in my mother tongue, it’s more like I feel I should be able to do it myself. If I were able to find a dual language immersion program she could attend where we live, I think I might want for her to learn a third language like Mandarin Chinese…

Then, a few weeks ago, out of nowhere, my husband said something to this effect: “You’re going to be teaching Vanessa how to read and write in Spanish, right? You could do after she comes home from school, just a little every day, right?” It was really more a statement than a question, to which I reacted with nothing. Not because I had never thought about it, but because for the first time I saw the enormity of the task at hand.

Would I really be able and willing to do that? Would I have the patience and dedication? Would Vanessa want to continue studying after spending eight hours at school? Or, should I just do everything in my power to send her to an elementary school designed to do just that: teach her both languages while I just help reinforce the minority one at home?

In doing research for this week of dual language immersion programs, I came across some wonderful information about the successes and accomplishments of the kids enrolled in them. I truly believe this is the best option we can give our kids, I just don’t know whether having someone else teach Vanessa my first language is kind of a waste when she could be learning a third language.

So, what do you all think? What are your plans for your kids? If your kids are already in a dual language immersion program, I’d love to hear from you and what you have to say about them, or anything else related to the education of our little ones.

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