Bilingual is Better

About: Elsie

Elsie Rivas Gomez is a mother, wife, teacher, and writer living in Pasadena, CA. She was born in El Salvador and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first collection of poetry, Swimming in El Rio Sumpul, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. You can find her blogging over at MamaFeminista.

http://www.mamafeminista.com/

Twitter: ergomez

10 Things I Didn’t Expect When I Started Speaking Spanish to my Baby

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That it would make me have to think really really hard sometimes to find the right words. That when asked her favorite fruits, my toddler would respond: blueberries, peaches, tamales, burritos. That her favorite bedtime song would be an improvised song whose lyrics are “Mama te ama, Papi te ama, —-te ama…” and which has as many verses as people and animals she knows. That “nalgas” is much funnier than “bottom” or even “butt” to say and point out. HowRead More ...

Con Gusto

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One of the challenges of being a not-so-perfect Spanish speaker teaching my toddler Spanish is that I am self-conscious of how I sound in public. I really liked Susan’s blogpost last week about being complimented on her accent and her point that accents are nothing be ashamed of.  However, I was born in El Salvador, and as a Latina, people often expect me to speak Spanish well.  The fact that we immigrated here before my first birthday is really notRead More ...

What’s Your Name? En Español, ¡Por Favor!

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I’ve been thinking about two things lately: my daughter’s name and her linguistic environment.  When we named her Marisol, we intentionally chose a Spanish name, including that rolled “r.”  We knew it would be butchered often, but loved it anyway and it became her name.  Her middle and last names are also very clearly Latino names as well.  Throughout our days, though, I wonder if her name will make her feel out of place, or self-conscious because it is soRead More ...

Mi Abuelita: Who was your Tita?

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Tita was mi Abuelita.  She was a vivacious, loud, loving bull of a woman.  She lived with my family since before I was born, and until she died when I was 16 and she was 83.  We slept in side-by-side twin beds until my brother moved out when I started high school.  Late at night, we would talk about nothing and everything–she would teach me Spanish prayers and make the silliest jokes that made us both giggle.  When my fatherRead More ...

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