Bilingual is Better

About: Kimberly Lane

Kimberly Stevens Lane was born to a Costa Rican mother and an American father and was raised in both countries. She is the mother of four-year-old twin boys, both of whom have special needs and are in full-time special education programs. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conference Interpretation and is a freelance translator and interpreter in the Washington, D.C. area.

Thanksgiving: Celebrating an American Tradition Abroad

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Thanksgiving — the date in November — has never meant much to me. When I was growing up, I was in Costa Rica, and the fourth Thursday in November was just another day. My brother and I were busy with school, my parents with work. My American father would usually make a casual comment in reference to the day, and I had memories of spending Thanksgivings past with his family in California when I was very little, but that wasRead More ...

Celebrating Cultural Events With My Autistic Boys

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Almost a month has passed since el quince de septiembre, Costa Rican Independence day. That weekend I set up a meeting point with a good friend, also a tica, gathered up my sons and our Metro cards and we trekked up to the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington, D.C. to check out the festivities, the third year in a row we’ve done so. I can always bribe my children with a ride on the bus or the Metro, because thereRead More ...

What the Power of Family Can Do for Bilingualism

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“Secondo will maintain a topic of conversation with a peer for 3 conversational turns in 4/5 observed opportunities over a two-month period.”  The IEPs are tucked away in a drawer at home. We are far away at my mother’s in Costa Rica, so I’m not sure that’s how the text reads exactly, but that’s the general idea. The many IEP goals are formal, measurable, and easy to forget unless I dig the papers out and read them once in aRead More ...

The Culture Of Food In Our Home

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Two or three weeks ago, my boys and their father went on a much-needed road trip to visit family in Kansas City. When they came back, I overheard Primo and Secondo talking about how they’d eaten rice and beans while they were away. “Rice and beans?” I asked my husband. “Where did they eat rice and beans?” “At my brother’s,” he answered matter-of-factly. My husband’s Midwestern family traveled to Costa Rica for our wedding nearly ten years ago. They’d neverRead More ...

Why I Decided Against a Spanish Immersion School for My Bilingual Boys

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We all have such clear ideas about how we’ll raise our children, even before they’re born. Breast vs. bottle. Co-sleeping vs. crying it out. Homemade baby food. Screen time. And though in some areas I was able to stick to my guns, I was humbled by the fact that many things really didn’t work out the way I’d planned at all. The same was true when it came to raising my children with two languages. I knew we’d probably useRead More ...

Bilingual Songs and a Caribbean Fiesta For Kids {Giveaway}

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I’m always hunting for that children’s music CD—I’d be willing to bet we all are.  The one that’s entertaining, doesn’t grate on the nerves, the one we parents can play over and over at home or in the car and not just tolerate but actually enjoy. Those albums are kind of rare, and I find that children’s music in Spanish is often especially screechy.  So I was pleased when I received two CDs by José González and Banda Criolla toRead More ...

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