Bilingual is Better

hispanic

Zoobean: A Site With Handpicked Books For Bilingual, Bicultural & Multiracial Kids

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I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, where the only place I heard Spanish was within the walls of my high school. And what’s more, I took French! Eventually, I learned Spanish in college and then as a student in Venezuela and Cuba. While my first job out of college didn’t require Spanish at all, my second did. I worked at a nonprofit that partnered with public schools to provide literacy programs to elementary-aged kids. My students were almost allRead More ...

Is Hispanic a Race or an Ethnicity? Does it Even Matter?

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One day when I was teaching ESL, I was working with a group of students from Mexico and Central America. Pencils scratched the paper, the energy was electric, the excitement palpable: we were filling out their applications for a program at a community college that would allow them to take a class over the summer. And the, we got to the demographic section: “Miss, am I white, black, Asian, or American Indian?” asked a young girl from El Salvador. TheRead More ...

Excuse Me, What Language Are You Speaking?

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As members of the Hispanic community, we know that being Hispanic is not an ethnicity, but rather that we are made up of many different races. Black Hispanics, Asian Hispanics, White/European Hispanics, etc. Most of us get it. I don’t question where someone is from or what their background is just because I had a different perception. And that goes for what language they speak. I am Chilean of German grandparents and my son, whom I have spoken only Spanish to since birth,Read More ...

Latina? Hispanic? Do These Labels Even Matter?

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Part of the first chapter in our forthcoming book, Bilingual is Better, deals with the ongoing debate of how we identify ourselves. Are we Latinos? Are we Hispanics? Or are we something else? So I was pretty interested in the results of a Pew Hispanic Center survey on this very topic that came out last week. I’ve never really liked the word Hispanic because I feel it implies I come from Spain, which I don’t. I’m okay with the word LatinaRead More ...

How Early Should We Talk to Our Children About Race?

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper is devoting this whole week to a special report called “Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture.” I don’t have cable, but I just watched the first segment, which aired last night, online and I must confess: I cried. I don’t know if you’ve watched it, but it was really difficult to watch a bunch of both white and black 6-year-olds — in other words, kids Vanessa’s age — talk about how the color of your skin mattersRead More ...

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