Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

My baby speaks a multitude of languages for now…

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I was at a Dual Language Education conference a few years ago when the keynote speaker mentioned something very intriguing about phonological development in babies. He said that the gibberish babies’ express could very well come from a multitude of languages. In other words, infants are literally taking in every sound they hear! He went on to explain that while parents are cooing back at their baby, their baby could actually be reiterating bits and parts of the Farsi theyRead More ...

Worries and Happy Dances

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Ah, September.  I love this time of year.  I love books and school supplies, and knowing that soon the heat will finally subside and fall will be here.  I love making plans for Halloween and Thanksgiving and knowing they’re not too far away.  I love reading all the back-to-school posts on the blogs I follow.  I love knowing my own kids will be back in school and surrounded by familiar faces, with some teachers and classmates they’ve known for twoRead More ...

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 ...

Back to School with a New Perspective

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School is back in session, and this year I am back in the classroom too.  I was fortunate to have been able to take a couple years off after the birth of my boys, but now I am back to teaching Spanish to junior high and high school students. Teaching is my passion, and I am fortunate to work at a wonderful school.  Working with teenagers is so much fun.  They are enthusiastic and eager to learn, but unfortunately forRead More ...

Ethnic Identification and the State of Being Entre

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As the rapid influx of Spanish speakers transforms the American populace, I stand between two cultures, two languages, two peoples, simultaneously grateful for and bitter about the prejudice that grows with the numbers. I think it is important that everyone experience being a member of the minority. Speaking Spanish has provided me this opportunity: under the guise of my gringa appearance, I carry around a sensitivity for and understanding of Latino culture that others don’t expect me to have. IRead More ...

English is Everywhere!

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One of the first signs of assimilation, in first and second generations of Latinos in the U.S., is the loss of one’s native language. Those of us whose parents were immigrants or who are immigrants ourselves remember that minute fact a little more clearly than our counterparts whose relatives immigrated several generations ago. Acculturation has been happening to immigrants from various countries for decades. Just go visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City and see for yourself.Read More ...

Creating Memories

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I was five years old when I visited Costa Rica the first time, and seven years old when we visited again.  Although my mother spoke to me in Spanish, I was around a lot of her Spanish-speaking friends and their children and I was even in a bilingual classroom in school, there was nothing quite like those trips.  Even though I was a child, I still remember what it felt like, coming to the swift realization that there was moreRead 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 ...

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