You would think teaching a child another language is easy right ? Just speak the language?!
well yes and no.
Since my daughter was born we’ve spoken spanish to her , i should say even before she was born to my belly i would, along with my parents say stuff to her in spanish.
To me it was not a choice or a decision to raise her bilingual, it was just second nature and what Eric and i thought was going to be very beneficial for her.
You see, my family comes from mexican decent . my mother and father were both born here in the U.S but my grandparents are from mexico, My mom being the youngest of her siblings was the only one born here, to me the fact that she was brought up with both languages although her parents don’t understand english to this day is outstanding.
While my parents worked all day , as a baby and kid my Grandmother on my Moms side i would say raised us , she only speaks spanish hence why i was able to be bilingual from an early age , i knew how to read and write in both languages early on .My parents never forced us to learn the language it just became us, that’s who i am . i am mexican – american . To me knowing the language is special.
i see this as such a beneficial skill to have because i believe it’s helped me so much in life , at jobs, and people relations. being able to help those who may only speak spanish , and seeing their face light up that someone can understand them is so amazing to me.
Eric’s family – on the other hand is kind of from all over , his father’s side is polish .
while his mother is half Ecuadorian and half swiss.
Being that they have such culture in the family his parents never learned any of the languages , so he unfortunately doesn’t know any of them either.
Although he grew up around a lot of hispanic kids , and now that we’ve been together for almost ten years , hes picked up Spanish and can understand it quite well. he doesn’t shy from speaking to Savannah in the little spanish he does know , which is so helpful and beneficial for the both of them .
His grandmother (Lita) short for abuelita – how sweet is that ?!–
she spoke spanish very well , and would speak to me in spanish when we were with her , i think that made her very happy . To me i felt that spanish was the only thing she had left from her Ecuadorian/ peruvian life back home , (she immigrated here in her early 20’s) that’s who she was a spunky little hispanic lady to her last day.
she would be more than thrilled that her great grand-daughter is being raised with her hispanic side thriving.
The most helpful thing for us raising savannah bilingual is that my mother when she watches sav for us , she speaks to her in only spanish . This has helped us a lot because at home , i sometimes forget to speak to her in spanish .
Her first big word besides mama and dada was “Mas” meaning more .
she uses that for everything lol , she showed that she understood the language early on maybe 7 months i would say, because if you spoke to her in either language she would respond / interact with us .
Big contributors we use as well are
bilingual books,flash cards, shows, and music.
Kids brains are like sponges they say , So what we do/show her she catches on so quick ,
once she started transitioning into her toddler phase (shes almost 2) things we started to think about are the activities we will incorporate , i search alot of helpful tips on pinterest and i cant wait to show her / teach her.
a favorite– use things they love to help them want to learn – she loves colors and food atm
A reminder for down the line – as long as you try to stick to it a little spanish (or whatever other language your teaching) is better than no spanish. Patience and time will be a major factor in this. Do Not Try and Force it upon them.
like i said earlier about erics grandmother, spanish is something we have to show who are and where we come from , to me that is very special and why i would love it for my children to continue on learning and exploring the language , culture.
Other reasons to absolutely indulge in your bilingual teaching –
- It opens up your future& mind (on sooo many levels)
- inside jokes and close ties -(i see this within my mom and sav already)
- more songs/ poetry / books to love
- the joy & pride of mastering two languages
and of course
MORE WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU !!
hope you found this as a good read/ motivator ,
thanks for reading xoxox