Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

My New Year’s Language Learning Resolution

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I take my boys to a weekly Spanish class. The majority of the children have had some exposure to the language, which makes this the ideal class for us. My sons always use Spanish with me, and it is the language that they use with each other. During the art session of this class, one of the mothers started to ask me what I have done to get my kids to be so fluent in Spanish. I rattled off theRead More ...

Learning the Vocabulary of Childhood… in Spanish

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Handy Manny was the first to render me speechless. My twins were toddlers, and my mother-in-law had given them a Handy Manny tool box for Christmas. Awesome gift, hours of play time ensured. We ripped it open, started in with all of Manny’s tools, his martillo, his…his…. A whole set of toys were splayed before me and I didn’t know the Spanish word for any of them. El serrucho y el destornillador - somehow those words never made it into theRead More ...

Celebrating Las Posadas: From Mexico to the US

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  Passing on cultural traditions (both Mexican and US) to our children is extremely important to my husband and I: language, food, celebrations and religion are four significant areas that we try to integrate into our lives. Not only does it help them identify with both the English and Spanish communities, but these daily and special occasions strengthen the bond we have within our family, instill pride in their heritage and increase their language competence. When my husband was growingRead More ...

Memories Of My Bilingual Childhood

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Before the age of 5, I had never spoken or heard anything but Spanish. My father was transferred within the Chilean Navy to Washington, D.C. just before my fifth birthday. It was supposed to be for two years and it ended up being five before we stepped back on Chilean soil. During that time, I began school and of course had to learn English. My father lived in a Spanish-speaking world due to the nature of his work, and myRead More ...

Transforming The American Table

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Last time I visited the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., I noticed that a section was closed as they were making changes but I didn’t know why – Now I discover it’s due to an addition that I cannot wait to go check out with my family! “FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000″ opened yesterday, November 20th, 2012. The 3,800-square-foot exhibit includes seventy years of Latino food history and explores the social and cultural changes of eatingRead More ...

Why Raising a Bilingual Child is Always a Work In Progress

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My daughter has been attending her dual immersion school in Spanish for almost three months now and I can honestly say she’s made a lot of progress. I think the most noticeable improvement has been in her increased self-esteem and the value she’s now given to speaking Spanish.  She tries much harder to complete sentences in Spanish and doesn’t get frustrated when I nudge her to speak it. My husband keeps insisting that she’s speaking way too much English andRead More ...

When Papi is Responsible for Raising a Bilingual Child

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Editor’s note: For a long time now, we’ve been hoping to bring the dad perspective to raising bilingual children. While we were in Miami in September for our Bilingual is Better book launch, we met Ryan Pontier, the author of the guest post below. We were immediately impressed by his commitment to bilingualism — particularly because Spanish is not his native tongue. Ryan, however, hasn’t allowed that to stop him in his journey to raise his baby girl Anna bilingual.Read More ...

On Becoming a US Citizen & Voting for the First Time

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When the pollworker put my ballot into the blue plastic bin, I did a little jump and blurted, “woohoo!,” in a way that was both a little embarrassing and totally appropriate. I was tempted to hug him, but I at least had the self control not to do that. As I walked out of the community center, my skin still covered in goosebumps, the first thing I did was call my mom: “Mami, I just voted and it was soRead More ...

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