Two Things I’m Proud Of

My daughter speaks Spanish. This fact brings me great joy. It also makes me incredibly proud. I’ve spend a lot of time and energy fostering my daughter’s Spanish speaking abilities. It means the world to me that she be bilingual.

I speak Spanish to Isa a lot when we’re alone–probably about 80% of the time. Before she was two she knew a lot of words in Spanish, and even a few phrases; she could sing quite a few songs and count to twenty in Spanish as well.

This past summer Isa started attending a Spanish immersion preschool. Like most two year olds her verbal skills are exploding and because of the Spanish she’s hearing at school, her Spanish is almost as good as her English. I have every intention of continuing her Spanish education for as long as it’s possible, but for right now I know for sure she’ll be continuing at her Spanish preschool for the next 3.5 years.

A few months ago I wrote piece for ggmg magazine about immersion preschools. Here’s a taste of the article. If you want to read the rest you can click over to my other site.

Parents have many reasons for wanting their kids to learn another language. For some it’s the desire to preserve a cultural identity; they speak the language and want to pass their cultural heritage on to their children. They also might feel strongly that their children should be able to speak to relatives who aren’t fluent in English. Others, who don’t speak a second language fluently, or at all, want to give their children the advantages of bilingualism. Achieving a high level of fluency in a second language is shown to improve cognitive reasoning, while being able to communicate competently in an increasingly interdependent global economy may create opportunities later in life. (To continue click here).

9 responses

  1. I love this!

    Honestly, one of the few upsides to Diego is that Lucky has learned how to count in Spanish. I often wish that Charlie or I were relatively fluent in another language so we could pass it along to Lucky, but that’s not going to happen for us (he was a Latin geek in middle school/high school, I quit Spanish as early as I could in high school).

  2. I’m so impressed that you speak to Isa in Spanish so much! I’m fully bilingual and couldn’t manage it. You’re so committed. The adults I know who went to bilingual schools (Oyster in DC, and Austrian-Guatemalan school in Guatemala city) came out fully bilingual and it’s such a huge asset for life. I’ve also noticed that with my kids now being exposed to their third language, even just having that exposure opens up their minds to so many possibilities for ways of speaking, communicating, conceptualizing. Good work 🙂

  3. I think it’s terrific that Isa is fluent in two languages already. She is very lucky to have you at home to speak to her in Spanish. I so wish that Matthew could have that exposure!

  4. No bilingual educational options is the only thing wrong with our town (and why on earth aren’t there some yet? Is that a hint for me to get started on it?). I’m hesitant to inflict my low-fluency second language on the kid, although the spouse and I share the second language too, so maybe with our mutual so-so extra language, it would be valuable. Yay for bilingual education! Excellent piece on it too!

  5. Fellow PAIL blogger here. Also fellow mama trying to raise a bilingual daughter. My husband and I speak in English only to Alidia but live in a Spanish speaking country and plan to put her in a Spanish speaking preschool half the day once potty trained. I hope that will be enough. Did you have any trouble with Isa being late to start speaking? I heard that is often the case with bilingual children and have seen it with my friend’s 2 year old here who just says a few words in both languages but not the amount of words most 2 year olds do in one language.

    PS – This is completed unrelated but I actually came across your blog while looking up PWP posts yesterday. I just switched to WP and my first post you’ll come across (most recent) is PWP but only because I am still funny about IRL and family reading my blog and wanted to be able to vent yesterday about things stressing me out at home.

    Hope you’ll swing by my blog! 🙂

    • Hi PTM – Thanks for stopping by. My daughter is 2.5 and actually is ahead of her age for language development and always has been. I have heard that some children show delayed speech when learning two languages but my daughter showed the opposite. Her language ability (in English at least, which is the language she hears and converses in most offen) has always been higher than what is expected at her age. Her Spanish ability is probably at age level, if not a little below.

      Totally understand about using PWP your posts. I’ll definitely stop over to your blog soon.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Esperanza

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