Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

The Natural Evolution of A Bilingual Child’s Language Skills

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I’ve had ample quality time with my stepdaughters this summer, which means I’ve been watching them interact with my son in surprisingly bilingual ways. The girls are 12 and 10 years old, entrenched in English at school and accustomed to using Spanish only at their abuelos’ house. One of them is much more comfortable with Spanish than the other and it sometimes appears that they have rejected the language altogether, but observing their play with my 4-year-old tells a differentRead More ...

Will My Bicultural Daughter Be Latina Enough?

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As a Spanglish baby myself, exposing my 2 year old daughter to the measure of Spanish necessary to develop a respectable level of fluency has been daunting. As her primary caregiver, and sole Spanish speaker in our home, my own weakness in fluency is ever present. But as I continue to expose, communicate and deposit our second language into my mini Latina, an entirely new question has been posed: can she even be considered a Latina? My Alina is aRead More ...

My Bilingual Son’s First Trip To Chile

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Every time I come to Chile I am reminded of how lucky and priveldged I am to be able to travel and actually have a relationship with my family, that culturally I am well connected and most importantly that I speak the language, without that, I would be lost. I know that many who have come to the US have not been able to visit their country and if they have, maybe it’s once every few years. Growing up, IRead More ...

Transmitting My Peruvian Culture One Ceviche at a Time

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As many of you know, cooking is not my forte. I know how to make a few dishes and between those and the ones my husband makes, we manage to feed our family of four. Unlike most Latina women I know, I didn’t grow up in a household where women cooked and passed on their skills to the next generation. I grew up in an atypical Latina house where my father cooked because my mother (and her mother) where neverRead More ...

Teaching My Daughter About Linguistic Diversity

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I hold the following quote by the linguist, Tove Skutnab-Kangas, dear to my heart and one that is always resonating with me during my day-to-day endeavors to raise a multilingual child. Linguicism includes the “ideologies and structures which are used to legitimate, effectuate, and reproduce unequal division of power and resources (both material and non-material) between groups which are defined on the basis of language.” This includes the languages we choose to teach our children and the ways we chooseRead More ...

6 Lessons About Raising Bilingual Children from a Non-Native Speaker

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When my twins were 18 months old, and I was waiting for them to turn babble into words, I still wondered: would they say agua or water? Más or more? Thinking back, it was a preposterous thought. My husband Adrian and I had spoken only Spanish to them since they were three months old. Having English-speaking toddlers was a linguistic impossiblity. Yet I, an Irish-American who learned Spanish as a second language, doubted whether I could really pull this wholeRead More ...

Is It Rude to Speak Spanish in Front of Those Who Don’t Understand?

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I really admire my mother-in-law for raising two bilingual children. Her task was especially challenging since she did so in an era when it was not popular to use a language other than English. In fact, she was actually told to stop speaking to her sons in German, her native language. Teachers, and even doctors, said that it would confuse them in school, but she knew better and continued to speak to her sons in German. Her persistence is whyRead More ...

Raising Bilingual Kids with the mL@H Method Really Works!

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I love having a child who’s a perfect example of how well the Minority Language at Home method (or mL@H) really works. If you’ve been following SpanglishBaby for a while, you know that, at this point, my daughter Vanessa, who’s almost 6-years-old, is fully bilingual and biliterate. Although the days of me worrying that Vanessa wouldn’t get enough exposure to English because we’ve only spoken to her in Spanish since the day she was born are long gone, the funny thingRead More ...

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