Bilingual is Better

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Becoming Bilingual in an English Dominant Country

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One of the things that really throw people off when they try to speak to Sabrina (my Spanish dominant toddler) is the fact that she really doesn’t understand English. In fact, I have to remind friends and family that she speaks and understand more Spanish than she does English. We have done a pretty good job of speaking to her 100% of the time in Spanish. Sure, Spanish and English flow back and forth between my husband and I (andRead More ...

Why Julián Castro & So Many Other Latinos Don’t Speak Spanish

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Regardless of political affiliation, I would find it very hard to believe that any Latino out there didn’t think San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro‘s keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this week was inspiring. Castro spoke so passionately and lovingly about his abuelita, his upbringing and all the hurdles his family has overcome that I’m sure many Latinos identified with him immediately. Hearing him sprinkle his speech with Spanish here and there was music to my ears. ButRead More ...

Is My Daughter Shy? Or Is She Not Bilingual Just Yet?

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While the majority of children in the United States will be going back to school this week, Vanessa just finished her third week in first grade. Recently, my husband and I were invited to a sort of parent/teacher conference so Vanessa could get an assessment in terms of her reading, writing and math skills. It was an opportunity for us to let her teacher know about Vanessa’s learning style, her likes and dislikes, and also for us to get toRead More ...

How to Prepare Spanish-dominant Kids for English-only School

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Ask my mother-in-law about U.S. Geography and she throws her hands up in defeat. In her elementary school, geography was taught in the third grade — the year she arrived from Cuba. Instead of memorizing state capitals, she was busy learning a new language, culture and city. Academically, third grade was a bust. I’ve been thinking a lot about that story recently as I prepare to send my youngest to a preschool. He’s a rambunctious child whose English vocabulary isRead More ...

Let’s Encourage all Kids to Learn Another Language

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I was one of those very lucky kids who attended a dual language immersion school. Although I moved around a lot as a child — living in 5 countries in 3 continents by the time I was 14 — I spent five solid years at my mother’s alma mater back in Peru and I was instructed mostly in English from 4th to 8th grade. As far as I remember, I only had a handful of courses, including Historia and GeografíaRead More ...

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