We're a bilingual family raising a 22 month old in NYC. I was born in Cuba but immigrated to the states as a young child. I was raised in Miami and my parents never were able to grasp English so our house, and much of our community as a whole, was Spanish-only. Consequently, I have excellent command of my native language although English has become my dominant language. My husband's father is also an immigrant and native Spanish speaker but his mother is deaf, so they only spoke English at home because that's what she can lip read. He consequently understands some Spanish but doesn't speak it much or very well.
For the past 12 or so years I have lived in mainly English-speaking communities and only have needed to resort to Spanish when speaking to my parents or, occasionally, for work. I stay home with our daughter and have taken great pains to speak to her only in Spanish but it is hard for me because it just doesn't come as naturally as it did when I was younger. I have only been able to find one or two other mothers in the area that are Spanish speaking and they both immigrated to the states when they were much older so they don't struggle as much as I do. All of which is to say, I have joined The Bilingual Zoo with the hope of accessing some much needed support and motivation as we continue our bilingual journey.
Post by Dave Hartley on Mar 28, 2017 21:18:35 GMT 9
Welcome to the Bilingual Zoo! It's great that you joined, and your background as you described is interesting. I think I face similar challenges to you, because I have a language that became rusty, and now that I want to pass it to my kids it doesn't come naturally.
You'll find some really great ideas, suggestions and well needed encouragement here! And I'm sure you'll make great progress in time.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Dave! I think you described it perfectly - it's less so that I struggle to speak it and more so that it doesn't come naturally so it feels labor intensive to stick to it all day long. I appreciate the encouragement and have already learned so much from reading through some threads.
Claudia, welcome! I responded to your situation in a longer reply at this thread, so please take a look. I hope the thoughts I've offered there can be helpful to you!
Cheers from Hiroshima to New York! (Actually, I went to college just outside New York--Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville--but I haven't been back to the area in many years. I miss it! Especially the bagels! )
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
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Angela: So sorry for your loss. She was a great woman. I hope you feel a bit better. Kisses from Spain.
Apr 22, 2018 23:34:43 GMT 9
Mayken: We visited a Loire Valley château yesterday. Our daughter got a kids' activity booklet and we parents got the regular tour booklet in French. She asked for one in German (our ml). When I later asked her why, she said "Because I'm a German-speaker!"
Apr 23, 2018 23:23:36 GMT 9
Nellie: Haha love it Mayken! The best thing is - she is right!
Apr 24, 2018 5:45:09 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9
Flir: Adam, uh oh. Time waits for no one. I'm very sorry to hear that. Stay strong man, your kids are looking up to you to give them as much as your parents gave you once. Best wishes.
May 24, 2018 20:11:03 GMT 9