Bilingual is Better

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Palabras: Excess and Absence

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I have always been somewhat anal about language – grammar and the like. I think if someone had told me when I was a kid (before I became bilingual) that the nouns I used were interchangeable with others that I had never heard before, I would’ve been…well, perturbed. This is why I am completely floored by my son’s ability to latch onto 2, 3, 4, or more nouns for every thing in his world. Isaiah doesn’t just move fluidly betweenRead More ...

The End of a Pregnancy, The Beginning of a Trilingual Life?

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The first time I set foot outside of the U.S. I was 21 and,  quite honestly, it had never occurred to me to visit a foreign country. A friend of mine invited my sister and I to go to Guadalajara, Mexico with a group of students who were going as part of a class. Guadalajara happened to be where my maternal abuelita is from. Since then, I have made it a point to travel every summer to a different country.Read More ...

On Tías, Madrinas, and Primos, to Name a Few

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I have what could be considered a textbook American family on my dad’s side of the family:  one aunt and uncle, two cousins, a few great-aunts, great-uncles, and other more distant relatives I’ve gotten to know to one degree or another.  On my mother’s side:  seven aunts and uncles, more cousins than I can count, and I couldn’t keep track of my extended family without a seriously detailed family tree. People have tried to convince me that in Latin America,Read 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 ...

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 ...

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