Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

My Struggle to Raise my Kids Bilingual

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Before I married or even had children I decided that my children would be raised bilingual, English and Spanish. Spanish was my first language. I grew up speaking Spanish to my grandparents and other family members. I watched TV in Spanish and could read most things in Spanish. Through my school years I would speak mostly English but never hesitated to use my Spanglish. As I grew older and started working, I realized how important it was to be bilingual.Read More ...

Saturdays are for Spanish School

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¨Hurry up and put your shoes on,¨ I tell my son, “or you’re going to be late for Spanish school.” He stops fidgeting and looks up at me with a big grin. “Mama, did you know that for some kids Saturday isn’t a school day? For some kids, Saturday is a Mommy and Daddy day.” ************* We’ve made the decision to enroll the boys in Spanish school on Saturdays. Like most parents who are raising bilingual children, I worry aboutRead More ...

The Symbolic Role of Language in our Life: Is it Innate?

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What exactly is the role of language? Why do some of us only speak one, while others manipulate multiple languages in their everyday lives? I have been dwelling on the notion of whether language is considered innate or whether individuals make strategic moves to learn or acquire language(s). In the field of second language acquisition there exists the idea that language is either learned or acquired. For example, the first language a baby gets is considered acquired. Why? Well, becauseRead More ...

The Bilingual Rebellion Begins

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“Mamá, yo solo hablo inglés,” were the words I had been dreading for four years and that inevitably came out of my girl’s mouth a few days ago. Did you catch the irony in it? She said “Mom, I only speak English” but she said it in Spanish! I calmly responded to her, en español, “Ah, ¿si? Y, ¿Porqué?”(“Oh, yeah? Why?”) She responde, en espanol, “Porque cuando estoy sola solo hablo en inglés.” (“Because when I’m alone I only speakRead More ...

Reflections On The California DREAM Act

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For the DREAMers I know that our community at Spanglishbaby is a diverse bunch, and that we come from a variety of personal and political perspectives, so I’m a little nervous about writing a post about politics, but I’d like to share with you some of my reflections on the recent passage of AB 130, the California DREAM Act: The California DREAM Act allows undocumented students to receive financial aid, if financially eligible, from private and public sources. Under AB540,Read More ...

NPR: Bilingual Families + Technology

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Editor’s note: We continue our coverage of NPR’s special series “Two Languages, Many Voices” with a preview of today’s story, which will air on Morning Edition, related to bilingual families and technology.  Access to the internet and being able to afford a computer doesn’t necessarily mean one can make use of either. This is the case for many Latino immigrants in the United States. The Bilingual Families and Technology report in the NPR series, “Two Languages, Many Voices: Latinos inRead More ...

NPR and Latinos in the U.S.

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I’ve been a fan of NPR for a very long time for a lot of reasons, but mainly because, as a journalist, I feel there’s little quality news programming left out there. If you listen to NPR, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, then this would be a great time for you to check it out. Starting next week, NPR will begin a series entitled Two Languages, Many Voices: Latinos in the U.S. on Morning Edition. TheRead More ...

How to Incorporate Spanish Into Our Daily Lives

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Back in August, a question in the Ask an Expert column really hit home with me. The mother who felt that her vocabulary was weak and her proficiency in Spanish was lacking particularly moved me. She was seeking ideas on how to build her own Spanish proficiency to best help her child become bilingual. As a non-native Spanish speaker, I could relate to her fears and insecurities about being a non-native speaker. I was also impressed by her determination to giveRead More ...

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