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What is Code-Switching and Why Do Bilinguals Do it?

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I used to be pretty harsh on myself if I couldn’t finish a sentence without going back and forth between English and Spanish when speaking with other bilinguals, an action commonly known as code-switching among linguists. Like many bilinguals and monolinguals alike, I simply believed this was wrong. I thought it meant I wasn’t really proficient in either language—even when I knew this not to be the case—or that I was simply forgetting my Spanish. I was wrong! In theRead More ...

The Number Game: Embedding Language Learning Into Other Subjects

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My husband and I are raising our sons to be trilingual.  Using the OPOL method, I speak to the children in Spanish, and he speaks to them in German.  While our baby is still in the babbling stage, our two and a half year old is quite verbal, constantly commenting on what he sees and asking questions to learn more.  I am often told what a wonderful gift I am giving my children by speaking to them Spanish.  Our pediatrician,Read More ...

Video of the Week: Wavin’ Flag

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Every four years an excellent opportunity arises to expose your children to the various cultures of the world when 32 nations unite in one country to vie for the FIFA World Cup. Starting next week on June 11th,  seven Spanish-speaking countries will be amongst the 32 qualifying teams competing in South Africa during el Mundial:  Honduras, México, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Spain. In my house we are rooting for both México and the U.S.A.  We are counting the daysRead More ...

Bilingualism Doesn’t Cause Confusion

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After almost 18 months nurturing SpanglishBaby into the incredible useful online resource for those raising bilingual and bicultural children it has become thanks to all our readers, I tend to think that everyone knows about the myths and misconceptions associated with bilingualism (or multilingualism). I guess after such a long time reading, researching and learning about the benefits of bilingualism, it’s easy to forget that not everybody is aware of them. So I was bit surprised last week when IRead More ...

The Eloquence of “Um…” (And Other Nonnative Setbacks)

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All parents are familiar with physical exhaustion, but some of us are even better acquainted with mental fatigue. My son, now almost 29 months old, requires more and longer explanations each day, and he is stretching my Spanish abilities to the max. Living in Orlando gives me plenty of practice with conversational Spanish, but spending every waking hour explaining the world in every grammatical tense and with as many particularities as an inquisitive kid requires drains me, to say theRead More ...

Getting a Taste of Culture Miami-Style

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As soon as the plane landed in Miami last Wednesday, I called my niece who was waiting for us at the airport and asked if she could takes us directly to Pollo Tropical so I could get my fix of Caribbean fast food. She thought I was kidding because, as they say, you don’t know what you have until you lose it. But I wasn’t. When my husband and I left Miami for the Rocky Mountains four years ago, weRead More ...

A Mission Statement for Raising a Trilingual Child

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It’s inevitable. Someone is bound to “curiously” question our intentions behind raising a trilingual baby. They want to know, “Why? Why have you decided to pursue this unpredictable and challenging path?” It’s an honest question. After all, it’s not like we live in Barcelona where there are two “official” languages in the autonomous Catalonia. It’s not like I’m from Germany and my husband, Marcus, is from France and we are living in an English speaking community. So, why? Why French?Read More ...

Video of the Week: Las Tablas de Multiplicar

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My daughter is nowhere close to learning how to multiply, but who says she can’t learn the basic 1 x 10=10 listening to Miliki’s “La Tabla de Multiplicar?” Enjoy this simple math-tune with your kids that are already at that learning stage. Miliki + Las Tablas de Multiplicar-La Tabla del 1 ...

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