Bilingual is Better

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Ethnic Identification and the State of Being Entre

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As the rapid influx of Spanish speakers transforms the American populace, I stand between two cultures, two languages, two peoples, simultaneously grateful for and bitter about the prejudice that grows with the numbers. I think it is important that everyone experience being a member of the minority. Speaking Spanish has provided me this opportunity: under the guise of my gringa appearance, I carry around a sensitivity for and understanding of Latino culture that others don’t expect me to have. IRead More ...

English is Everywhere!

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One of the first signs of assimilation, in first and second generations of Latinos in the U.S., is the loss of one’s native language. Those of us whose parents were immigrants or who are immigrants ourselves remember that minute fact a little more clearly than our counterparts whose relatives immigrated several generations ago. Acculturation has been happening to immigrants from various countries for decades. Just go visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City and see for yourself.Read More ...

Creating Memories

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I was five years old when I visited Costa Rica the first time, and seven years old when we visited again.  Although my mother spoke to me in Spanish, I was around a lot of her Spanish-speaking friends and their children and I was even in a bilingual classroom in school, there was nothing quite like those trips.  Even though I was a child, I still remember what it felt like, coming to the swift realization that there was moreRead More ...

Con Gusto

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One of the challenges of being a not-so-perfect Spanish speaker teaching my toddler Spanish is that I am self-conscious of how I sound in public. I really liked Susan’s blogpost last week about being complimented on her accent and her point that accents are nothing be ashamed of.  However, I was born in El Salvador, and as a Latina, people often expect me to speak Spanish well.  The fact that we immigrated here before my first birthday is really notRead More ...

“You Have a Very Good Accent”

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Last week in the supermarket a woman overheard me speaking to my kids in Spanish and asked me, where I was from.  As I am often asked this question, I answered with my usual response that I was born in Pennsylvania, but learned Spanish as an adult.  Since she seemed interested, I explained to her that I am raising my children to be trilingual.  “You have a very good accent,” she kindly told me and went on to finish herRead More ...

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