Bilingual is Better

Daily Learning

The Language of Family

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Many of you know through our tweets and our Facebook updates that my daughter and I are currently in El Salvador visiting the family for one whole month. It has been two years since the last time we were here and a trip was long overdue, especially for Camila. My daughter, who just turned three, has a long-distance relationship with everyone in her family, except for mamá and papá. I always feel guilty that, not only will she be anRead More ...

My Daughter’s Adventures in a Third Language

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My four-year-old daughter, Vanessa, just finished two weeks of an immersion language summer camp…in FRENCH! I’ve been wanting her to go there since last summer, but things didn’t really work out the way I’d plan them and so we had to wait until this year. And, I’m actually glad we did! French is my third language and I’ve spoken to Vanessa in French in the past although not in a consistent or structured way. In fact, before her brother wasRead More ...

Sneaky Spanish Lessons

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Editor´s note:  The following is a guest post and vlog by Carrie Ferguson Weir. My girl’s first words were in Spanish. And, I was so proud. Here I was in Tennessee, with no Spanish-speaking relatives nearby and my little baby was hablando español. And then she turned 3 y “I don’t speak Spanish!’’ became her battle cry. (This, despite attending a Spanish immersion pre-school.) Maria is nearly 7 now and she understands everything I say in Spanish, her accent isRead More ...

Of Words and Meanings…

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The other night, my husband and I were having a pretty “heated” discussion about the right Spanish word for earring. Pretty lame, huh? But I’ve always had a fascination with words – it’s not for nothing that I chose journalism as a career path – in both English and Spanish. Anyhow, for my husband, who hails from Puerto Rico, an earring is una pantalla. To me, una pantalla means a screen or lampshade. So there we were right before bedtimeRead More ...

Bringing Our Culture a Little Closer to Home

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My mom just got back from a month-long trip to Perú, our homeland, and as soon as she landed, I wanted to know when she’d be over. Not only did I miss her and wanted for her to see her nietos (especially since my baby boy, Santiago, has changed so much in the past few weeks), but also because I knew she was coming back with a suitcase full of awesome goodies from back home. As soon as my momRead More ...

I Have a Confession to Make

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It’s starting to happen. English is slowly creeping into our house. My almost four-year-old is consistently using more and more English. She never fully speaks solely in English to me, but whereas before she’d say an English word or two in a sentence, lately she’s been known to say full sentences. I know there’s nothing wrong with this and I was expecting this would start happening, but it seems like it’s happening a bit faster than I anticipated. I can’tRead More ...

4 Ways to Create a Perceived Need for the Minority Language

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The following post was originally published on September 18, 2009 under the title “How To Create a Perceived Need for the Minority Language.” My 18-year-old goddaughter, Veronika, was recently in town for the weekend and I noticed something pretty interesting that I’m still trying to figure out. Although she was raised bilingual by my (Peruvian) sister and her father, who is Cuban, (but moved to New York as a toddler and thus speaks more English than Spanish,) ever since IRead More ...

It’s Not Impossible, But It Takes Effort

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My daughter, Vanessa, is always curious about what languages other people speak. I didn’t teach her that. Neither do I go around introducing people to her by announcing they speak English, Spanish or both. Yet, it’s pretty usual for her to want to know. Once she finds out, she likes to make all aware that she speaks tres: español, inglés y francés—which she doesn’t, but I love that she thinks that way. The little French I’ve exposed her to, hasRead More ...

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