Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

“You Have a Very Good Accent”

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Last week in the supermarket a woman overheard me speaking to my kids in Spanish and asked me, where I was from.  As I am often asked this question, I answered with my usual response that I was born in Pennsylvania, but learned Spanish as an adult.  Since she seemed interested, I explained to her that I am raising my children to be trilingual.  “You have a very good accent,” she kindly told me and went on to finish herRead More ...

Note to Self: ¡No Busques Perfección!

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Yes, I speak Spanish every day. Yes, I use it in a business and personal context. Yes, I feel muy cómoda switching to Spanish unexpectedly. So, why do I feel like my Spanish skills have stagnated? When I find myself explaining how to get past “the learning plateau” to a tutoring client, I am always reminded of my own relationship to the Spanish language. My job is to help others overcome that period during a course, test preparation, or languageRead More ...

Strictly Speaking…

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I have had several adventures and challenges that have helped me prepare for motherhood. I believe they have prepped me for the stamina, patience, and determination I would need to raise a little one. For instance, I volunteered in what was known as the poorest region of Central America for six weeks when I was 21.  I spent day and night with a family of 12 in Lempira, Honduras. My “room” was used for storage. It had several bags ofRead More ...

Relaxing the Rules

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From September to June, we’re all about structure around here.  My boys have been in preschool since they were two.  We have home visits from teachers once a week, there’s a never-ending flurry of notes back and forth in communication logs, we have speech therapy and appointments with the psychiatrist.  So it’s no wonder that once June hits, I’m ready for all of us to take it a little easier.  I take on less work, or more work that IRead 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 ...

Learning Language Through Play

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I never thought it would happen to me, but it did.  The societal pressure to put my children on the achievement treadmill started to influence some of my parenting decisions.  All parents want to give their children experiences to help them grow into successful adults, but sometimes we go overboard.  Children today often have schedules crammed full of sports’ practices, dances classes, education enrichment programs, art classes and even programs teaching them reading and math.  Like any good parent, IRead More ...

Palabras: Excess and Absence

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I have always been somewhat anal about language – grammar and the like. I think if someone had told me when I was a kid (before I became bilingual) that the nouns I used were interchangeable with others that I had never heard before, I would’ve been…well, perturbed. This is why I am completely floored by my son’s ability to latch onto 2, 3, 4, or more nouns for every thing in his world. Isaiah doesn’t just move fluidly betweenRead More ...

The End of a Pregnancy, The Beginning of a Trilingual Life?

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The first time I set foot outside of the U.S. I was 21 and,  quite honestly, it had never occurred to me to visit a foreign country. A friend of mine invited my sister and I to go to Guadalajara, Mexico with a group of students who were going as part of a class. Guadalajara happened to be where my maternal abuelita is from. Since then, I have made it a point to travel every summer to a different country.Read More ...

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