Bilingual is Better

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Why Julián Castro & So Many Other Latinos Don’t Speak Spanish

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Regardless of political affiliation, I would find it very hard to believe that any Latino out there didn’t think San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro‘s keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this week was inspiring. Castro spoke so passionately and lovingly about his abuelita, his upbringing and all the hurdles his family has overcome that I’m sure many Latinos identified with him immediately. Hearing him sprinkle his speech with Spanish here and there was music to my ears. ButRead More ...

Oral Tradition: Why All Bilingual Kids Need Cuentos, Leyendas and Refranes

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On any given night, you will find my husband, Toño, narrating leyendas and mitos to our four children before putting them to bed: the history of the escudo on the Mexican flag, the story of the hare outsmarting the coyote, stories from the Bible, or even Aesop’s fables. La llorona, David and Goliath, and Juan Diego and la Vírgen de Guadalupe trump Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood when Papi tells — and acts out — these traditional stories. InsteadRead More ...

Is My Daughter Shy? Or Is She Not Bilingual Just Yet?

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While the majority of children in the United States will be going back to school this week, Vanessa just finished her third week in first grade. Recently, my husband and I were invited to a sort of parent/teacher conference so Vanessa could get an assessment in terms of her reading, writing and math skills. It was an opportunity for us to let her teacher know about Vanessa’s learning style, her likes and dislikes, and also for us to get toRead More ...

“Bilingual is Better” is In My Hands!

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Look what I got in the mail yesterday!!! I have to admit I never, ever thought that it would feel this good! Touching it, feeling how soft and silky the cover feels, flipping through the pages and seeing my picture in the back flap just made all those endless hours and weekends at home trying to put this together make it all worth it. A huge ¡GRACIAS! to our publishers, Bilingual Readers, for putting out a beautiful design and just aRead More ...

How to Prepare Spanish-dominant Kids for English-only School

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Ask my mother-in-law about U.S. Geography and she throws her hands up in defeat. In her elementary school, geography was taught in the third grade — the year she arrived from Cuba. Instead of memorizing state capitals, she was busy learning a new language, culture and city. Academically, third grade was a bust. I’ve been thinking a lot about that story recently as I prepare to send my youngest to a preschool. He’s a rambunctious child whose English vocabulary isRead More ...

Las Chinas Y Los Baleros

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Playing is one of the activities that influences kids’ imaginations the most. I know that a lot of kids nowadays play with electronic gadgets, but some still like to play with the same toys that their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents used to play with. I am talking about “traditional” toys such as balls, ropes, bicycles, “baleros” or dolls. Most Mexican traditional toys are made of pleasant materials and painted in lively colors, as most good toys are. Of allRead More ...

Let’s Encourage all Kids to Learn Another Language

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I was one of those very lucky kids who attended a dual language immersion school. Although I moved around a lot as a child — living in 5 countries in 3 continents by the time I was 14 — I spent five solid years at my mother’s alma mater back in Peru and I was instructed mostly in English from 4th to 8th grade. As far as I remember, I only had a handful of courses, including Historia and GeografíaRead More ...

Educational Resources for Bilingual Kids

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Back in the spring, I was invited by New Futuro to participate in a really cool event hosted by Que Rica Vida in Chicago with the purpose of providing information and tools to Latino parents to be able to help their kids succeed. Aptly named Infórmate y Edúcate, the free event conducted solely in Spanish was a huge success with over 500 people in attendance. I must say I was honored to be in the company of some great LatinaRead More ...

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