Bilingual is Better

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Bravo to Illinois for Understanding Why Bilingual Education is Crucial!

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I might just have to move to Illinois. In case you didn’t know, earlier this month, Gov. Pat Quinn, signed a bill, which aspires to strengthen bilingual education in that state. Illinois plans to do that by first evaluating the state of bilingual education in its schools and then presenting a report to lawmakers and state education officials by Jan. 1 with their findings and recommendations. I’m not going to lie, listening to Gov. Quinn make the following remarks during theRead More ...

6 Lessons About Raising Bilingual Children from a Non-Native Speaker

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When my twins were 18 months old, and I was waiting for them to turn babble into words, I still wondered: would they say agua or water? Más or more? Thinking back, it was a preposterous thought. My husband Adrian and I had spoken only Spanish to them since they were three months old. Having English-speaking toddlers was a linguistic impossiblity. Yet I, an Irish-American who learned Spanish as a second language, doubted whether I could really pull this wholeRead More ...

How Bilingual Parents Can Raise a Trilingual Child

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  A few months ago I let my Facebook friends know that Sabrina used three languages in one day for the first time! This, of course, was a milestone because we have been speaking entirely in Spanish to her, though she hears English daily, and is exposed to French in very contrived settings, like through read alouds and French children’s videos. Before our daughter was born, almost two years ago, we decided to attempt to raise her with three languages.Read More ...

What Is A Spanish Speaker Supposed To Look Like?

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In this country, there is a definite stereotype as to what a Spanish speaker is supposed to look like. The erroneous belief seems to be that only people with dark hair, dark eyes and tan skin speak Spanish. I know that the readers of SpanglishBaby are aware of the great diversity that exists among Spanish speakers, but the reality is that the American public seems to hold fast to their misconceptions. At the school where I teach, the students areRead More ...

When Bilingual Education Is NOT Okay

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Puerto Rico announced yesterday that it aims to make all its public school students bilingual by the year 2022. To that end, Gov. Luis Fortuño has proposed a plan to require all public schools to teach all courses in English instead of Spanish — except for Spanish grammar and literature, of course. On the surface, this might seem like a good plan, after all, we all know the power of bilingualism. But once you look at it for what itRead More ...

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