Bilingual is Better

code-switching

Is Your Bilingual Kid Mixing Languages? No Worries, It’s Okay

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One of the the things that can put parents who are raising bilingual children off the most – aside from their kid not responding back in the target language – is when they start mixing languages. Our first thought is that our child is falling “behind” in terms of language acquisition, but nothing can be further from the truth. My girl is almost five years old now and is very aware that she’s about to start a new stage inRead More ...

Why Does Spanglish Get Such a Bad Rap?

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Last week I was pretty taken aback when I heard someone say that “el Spanglish es una aberración” (literally an aberration, an outrage). The craziest thing is that this person — an old colleague and friend of my husband’s who is Argentinian, but has lived in Miami for a long time —  said this as he admitted to using it himself! Then I realized I got exactly what he meant because I used to be one of them: the anti-Spanglish,Read More ...

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 ...

Tengo Miedo de Your Language

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“He’s confused.” This seems to be the refrain of my interactions with monolinguals these days. Talking is the big milestone for two-year-olds and would be the topic of conversation even if I weren’t speaking Spanish with my son. Because I am, though, it feels like a rather contentious subject. SpanglishBaby readers are already familiar with the debate over code-switching and its role in fluency. We know that experts confirm that mixing languages is a sophisticated linguistic skill, not a signRead More ...

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