Bilingual is Better

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5 Ways Multilingualism Can Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

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I’ve always been a shy child. But I’ve always been extremely proud of speaking another language. Here are five ways being bilingual helped boost my own self-esteem: 1) It has given me strong communication skills Remember the first time you tried out your newly-learned language skills and managed to get out a full sentence and get a reaction that wasn’t confusion, but rather an answer to your question or a response to your request? Remember how confident you felt? TheRead More ...

When They Start Complaining About Spanish

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A few weeks into their third year of Spanish school, the day I knew would be coming sooner or later finally arrives. My son has figured out that going to school on Saturday is for the birds. Several Saturdays in a row, I listen to his litany of complaints. It’s like having six weekdays! I’m cutting into his weekend! The complaints wear me down — or rather, countering them wears me down. I trot out some of my usual sellingRead More ...

The Pros & Cons of Hiring An Online Spanish Tutor

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My husband and I don’t speak Spanish, but we still wanted our three kids to speak it. After years of searching for a good option (babysitters, playgroups, learning groups, etc.) we finally settled on having them learn Spanish through tutoring. We searched nearby cities (our town is tiny: only 1,141 people) and tried several teachers, but we were not satisfied with the return: after long hours of driving to the lessons, our son did not progress beyond the point of basic countingRead More ...

Using Literature to Teach Our Bilingual Kids About Latin American History

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As author of “An Honest Boy, Un hombre sincero” — the only children’s book on the life of Cuban legend José Martí — Magdalena Zenaida evokes a sense of cultural pride by embracing biculturalism. We sat down with her to chat about bilingualism, raising proud, bicultural identities and what José Martí means to her. How do we interest our children in bilingual literature and why should we?   I think a great way to interest children in bilingual literature isRead More ...

Talking Raising Bilingual Kids on the TODAY Show!

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I’m still in cloud nine. We’ve been trying to land a spot on the TODAY Show for a few years now, but especially after we published our book Bilingual is Better last year. Why? Because we want to bring to a national platform our message that raising kids in more than one language is one of the best gifts you can give them. We have been blessed with interviews on Univision and Telemundo to promote the book, but we wantedRead More ...

7 Fantastic Reasons to Raise Bilingual Kids

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Many parents never question the idea of raising bilingual kids. I imagine that, like me, they figure it’s the only way to raise their children. Maybe it’s because they’re bilingual themselves and they know first-hand the benefits of speaking more than one language. Or maybe it’s because it’d be odd for them to speak to their children in a language other than their native one even if it’s considered the minority language — as in my case. But I thinkRead More ...

5 Ways to Bring the Target Language Home

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Before having children, I fantasized how easy it would be to raise them speaking Spanish, English and even Mandarin. Although I am not a native speaker, I was confident that my Spanish skills, sheer determination, and obviously my Spanish-speaking husband would propel our household into bilingual bliss. We began by speaking to our children in (mostly) Spanish, but with both my husband and I working full-time while taking grad classes, their exposure to Spanish was limited. When we adopted myRead More ...

Día de los Muertos: Funerals, Death and Questions from a Three-Year-Old

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  Her obsession with all things death began when my grandmother passed away last year. My then 3-year-old daughter Kalila had grown fond of Mamá Leonor, and I never really considered not taking her with us to the funeral. Just the year before, she had sat on my lap at my grandfather’s funeral, although I’m sure she didn’t remember. There were other small children there, too, and I had always grown up believing that children were just as much aRead More ...

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