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Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos blending traditions

Halloween & El Día de los Muertos: Blending Traditions

I just love October and love Halloween. It’s such a fun time of the year. I have always liked dressing up and now that I have children I enjoy it even more. Being bicultural and bilingual gives us the opportunity to blend traditions and I have to say Halloween and El Día de Los Muertos really … Read more

How I Became Latina

Don’t worry this is not a ramble about identity it’s just the story of how I realized I was Latina by moving to the United States. You could say that being born in a Latin American country makes me a Latina from birth, but I don’t completely agree. I was born Guatemalan, that’s what it says on my birth … Read more

More Great Ideas to Promote Diversity in the Classroom

SECOND POST IN A SERIES Promoting diversity and multiculturalism in the classroom is good for everyone. Here are some more ideas for achieving this in the classroom. 11. “Focus on understanding and communicating, not error correction” (Díaz-Rico & Weed, 2006). Value what your students say and not how they speak. 12. Emphasize geography in your … Read more

promoting diversity

10 Ways for Promoting Diversity in the Classroom

WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE CLASSROOM: 1. Play dress-up. Dressing up lets children literally step into someone else’s shoes. Provide a variety of traditional costumes from all over the world. 2. “Accept linguistic/cultural hybridity (e.g. combined use of the native language and English for instruction, allowing code switching) as a viable and authentic way … Read more

Having a Multicultural & Multilingual Classroom is Good for Everyone

The population of English Language Learners is growing faster the ever in the recent years as one out of every six school age children use a language other than English at home (Diaz-Rico & Weed, 2006). Our classrooms are changing; racial, cultural and linguistic diversity is increasing and with it the importance of encouraging tolerance, self esteen and … Read more

How to raise bilingual and bicultural children

Teach by example: value your culture. The first step to raising bilingual children is to recognize the value of your culture and your language and to take a conscious decsicion that you are willing to invest the time and energy to keep your traditions, beliefs and language alive in your home.   Speak your native … Read more

The Importance of Keeping your Culture and Language Alive

Your children will have no problem learning English and adapting to the culture of the country they live in because they are immersed in it. Advantages of being bilingual Keeping your culture and language alive at home will reinforce in your children a sense of identity and will build their self-esteem. Children benefit from learning to … Read more

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.

GRACIAS!

Paula