Hello and Happy New Year!
I’m usually not one to make New Year’s resolutions, BUT…our family has decided to buckle down and re-commit ourselves to learning to speak Spanish.
Our English/Spanish bilingual journey began a little over 5 years ago when our first daughter, Jaida, was born. With my limited Spanish knowledge from junior high school and college, I was able to teach her common Spanish vocabulary words. I’ll talk more about what I taught her and the approach we used at another time. Over the years, though, my husband and I sort of got stuck because we don’t speak Spanish fluently. And as our family grew (twin daughters and then a son), keeping up with teaching the children Spanish became a real challenge.
Still, I refuse to let go of my dream to raise my children to be bilingual and become bilingual myself. Ever since I was a kid I was always fascinated by how someone could communicate in 2 (or more) languages. “How do they do that?” I’d wonder. “How do they switch from one language to the other?" “I want to do that too.” I resolved.
Here’s some of my Spanish-learning background. I was so determined to learn Spanish that I did extremely well in my Spanish classes in junior high school. I even won the silver Spanish award at graduation. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take Spanish in high school because I had already passed the Spanish Regents. By the time I took up Spanish again in college, I did well enough to pass on tests and writing assignments, but speaking Spanish and understanding spoken Spanish was not happening so well. My husband, BTW, took French in high school, so the Spanish he knows, he learned from me.
Is it possible for us, native English-speaking parents to teach our children Spanish?
We believe so.Hence the purpose of this blog--to chronicle our journey on how we (English-only speakers) are teaching our children Spanish. I’m not talking about a Spanish word here or there or Dora and Diego Spanish. Our children will speak English and be effective, confident conversational Spanish speakers (us too.)
I'll be sharing with you the wealth of research and resources I've gathered to help my husband and I teach our children a second language. I'll post the fun, interactive and yet simple Spanish lesson plans I've written to teach my children (there's 4 of them: a kindergartener, twin preschoolers, and a toddler) during our "Spanish Time."
Is your situation like ours? Are you raising your children to speak in a language that’s not your native tongue? Let us know how you do it!
Or, if you would like to teach your child Spanish as a second language and are not sure how, I hope this blog will encourage you, inspire you, and give you the support you need to get started and keep it going.