Although my kids haven't gone through it yet, I know the time will come when they will rebel against speaking Spanish--and I'm so not looking forward to it. Part of me wants to believe this will never happen to my kids, but who am I kidding? I know this is a reality for many parents raising bilingual kids, so I want to make sure I'm prepared when they refuse to speak Spanish to me.
Maybe you're already going through this stage with your kids and you're not sure what you're supposed to do. So I figured I'd share some of the tips I've gathered from the experts in the last few years I've been writing about raising bilingual children.Continue Reading >
Traveling is, by far, my favorite thing to do. If I had more money, I'd do it more often. My parents are the ones responsible for my love of travel because they took us everywhere when we were little. Not to mention that I grew up in five countries in three different continents.
Ever since I became a mom of two kids I'm raising bilingual and bicultural, traveling has a whole new meaning. My husband and I try to take our children back to our respective home countries every year so they can visit family and be immersed in Spanish and our Latino culture. Although not cheap, traveling is very important for bilingual and bicultural children for the following reasons:Continue Reading >
here's no question about it: the best way for kids to learn is through play. That's why I'm always on a quest to find quality bilingual toys for my kids. The best are those that teach my children something without them even realizing it. And while things have changed a lot in terms of options since I first became a mom more than six years ago, I'd be lying if I said there are a ton of bilingual toys out there that are worth your hard earned dinero.
Luckily, my kids have tried and tested many of them and today I'd like to share the ones I highly recommend buying if you're raising bilingual kids. Not only are they fun and interactive, but both Spanish and English are used correctly. That might sound ridiculous, but you wouldn't believe some of the stuff that's out there!Continue Reading >
I've been raising bilingual kids for over six years and I've been researching and writing about it for almost four and yet, I'm still very surprised when I hear people say that bilingualism causes confusion. I've found this is a particular concern of new parents who've been thinking about adding a second language, but are worried that their kids will get confused. Truth is this is just a myth. One that has been perpetuated through the years thanks to old and erroneous information about bilingualism.
Sadly some of those responsible for keeping this myth alive are unusual suspects like pediatricians, speech therapists and teachers—professionals we normally trust.Continue Reading >
Before my first child was born, I knew I'd be raising her bilingual. But I'd be lying if I said I knew there were actual methods with established names to do so. It wasn't until my daughter was about 2 years old and I started researching the topic for a blog that I discovered the way I was raising her to learn both English and Spanish had a name: the mL@H method.
The initials stand for "minority language at home" and, basically, it means just what it says. You speak Spanish (or whatever other second language you've chosen for your kids) when you're with them and they learn the dominant language--in our case English--elsewhere, usually in school.Continue Reading >
Raising bilingual children is easier for some parents and harder for some others. In my case, for example, my husband and I are both native Spanish-speakers, so speaking Spanish to our kids all day long is not really an issue. But most parents I know are second or third generation Latinos, which means that although they may speak Spanish, it's not their native language. Regardless of your situation, the truth is that besides language proficiency, there are other key traits all of us raising bilingual kids need to do it successfully.
The good thing is that as a parent, you probably possess all of them already.Continue Reading >
When my daughter Vanessa was born more than six years ago, it never ocurred to me that I would speak to her in any language other than Spanish. Although I'm fluent in both English and Spanish and I have spent the majority of my life in the United States, I still consider Spanish my first language and the one I use with my family--even though they're all bilingual too. As my daughter went from baby toddler and started speaking, I realized that using only Spanish with her raised a lot of questions for me. Of particular concern were: How would she learn English? And would she be at a disavantage if she didn't learn it early on? At some point, I even wondered if I should start speaking to her in English.
These and other concerns led a college friend of mine and I to create a blog about the ins and outs of raising bilingual and bicultural children in the United States.Continue Reading >
I owe my bilingualism to the education I got back home in Peru in a dual language immersion school. While my parents' first language is Spanish, they're both bilingual and they wanted to make sure we grew up speaking Spanish and English as well. So my sister and I were sent to a school were we were taught some of our subjects in Spanish and the rest all in English. I'm convinced that being immersed in a second language is what allowed me to excel as a student both back home and once I moved to the United States as a teenager.
Why American public schools fail to see the huge benefits of bilingualism is something I'll never understand.Continue Reading >
I did an interview for a syndicated radio show yesterday to promote my recently published book Bilingual is Better, and I was asked some pretty interesting questions. One of them reminded me that while a lot of parents wholeheartedly support the idea of raising bilingual and bicultural children, a lot more people out there go as far as thinking that this practice is unpatriotic. I know that sounds ludicrous to most of us, but it's the sad reality. A lot of people truly believe that in order to be fully American, you need to let go of your (or your ancestor's) heritage, language, traditions and just assimilate into this country's culture. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Continue Reading >
I've been in Miami since Monday promoting my brand new book, Bilingual is Better, and I've come to the realization that you really don't know what you have until you lose it. Let me try to explain what I mean by that. You see, I lived in Miami for almost 20 years until I moved to Denver six years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. Although the culture shock was tremendous when I first arrived in Colorado, with time, I got used to the much slower pace and the lack of rudeness so prevalent in Miami.
But coming back to Miami always reminds me how much different it really is in comparison to the rest of the United States.