Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It takes a village

As we get closer and closer to baby's "birthday", I think about how realistic our plan to raise baby with two languages may or may not be in our community. In my last community in South Florida, I had at least one friend and colleague speaking exclusively Spanish with her young daughter. Here in our current town, I think it's time to find other bilingual families (especially Spanish and English speaking ones) to help model "mommy" language for me and to spend time with in order to foster more language practice and interaction. What are your experiences with building a community of bilingual families in your local communities?

Though I am bilingual, Spanish is my second language, learned while living with a Bolivian family in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia in 1991 and 1992 as a high school exchange student. I am certified as a bilingual teacher but most of my Spanish is now related to education and early childhood vocabulary instead of parenting. Also, my husband is monolingual but has some Spanish and German language background. I plan to use Spanish 100% of the time when interacting with my son, other than some English songs and reading. I plan to also sing traditional spanish lullabies and children's songs and read to him in Spanish.
Has this worked for anyone? I am eager to hear about your experiences! Please leave your comment.

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1 comment:

  1. Hola!
    I'm so happy you found the SpanglishBaby brand spanking new forums!! I agree with you that it does take a village to raise any kid and much more a bilingual one.
    I hope the forum helps you connect with other parents in your area. I'm sure once you dive in head first you'll find many parents who share your views.
    Let me tell you that I totally admire your decision to raise your son bilingual using the OPOL method. He's one lucky baby!!


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