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Bienvenidos a Growing Up Bilingual!

Bienvenidos a Growing Up Bilingual!

Photo by Dee Rico Photography

I am a Latina mom raising two wonderful children with my husband in Florida’s Gulf Coast. Before my family moved to the United States I had never given my culture and language much thought.  Having fireworks, ponche and tamales  for Chritmas was an easy tradition to maintain and I took for granted that my children would grow up speaking Español. 

Growing up in Guatemala my parents always made education a priority. To give their children more opportunities they enrolled me and my brothers in an american school. From the first day I went to Kindergarten all my teachers where american and spoke only English, except for my Spanish teacher. I grew up surrounded by people who believed that speaking more than one language was the key to success, so the first time one of my daughter’s teachers told me she was having difficulty speaking and we should just talk to her in English I was very surprised.

My little girl has a motor processing disorder and is on the autism spectrum. Speech in general is a struggle for her but regardless of that she speaks Spanish and English and I am convinced that speaking two languages has helped her conquer many of her difficulties. I want to share our family’s view of what it means to grow up bilingual and bicultural, the challenges and the successes of raising bilingual children and teaching them about their raices and their culture. Join us as we parent and live putting mucho sabor Latino in everything we do.

I welcome teachers and educators and want to share with them how meaningful and positive it is for children to keep their home language and educators and teachers can help children understand the importance of their roots and their language.

Thank you for reading and hopefully you will come back soon and share your stories, your suggestions and your comments with me and with everyone out there so we can all learn from each other.






About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2011/latino-parenting/bienvenidos-a-growing-up-bilingual/

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