GROWING UP BILINGUAL BOOK DRIVE!!

THERE IS NO BETTER GIFT FOR A CHILD THAN A BOOK!! As part of the Dual Language Learners Committee for South Florida, we have been working on supporting parents to keep their home language and culture alive. This has great advantages for the children’s future success in school, as well as for entire family and … Read more

Spread the Word About the Benefits of Bilingualism

Why is this still big news? As I am reading yet another article on how bilingualism is beneficial for everyone I wondered why this is still treated like big news. There are so many people all over the world who are bilingual and multilingual and we are all living with the benefits that come from … Read more

Spanish Toolkit for Learning Disabilities

I was very excited to learn that The National Center for Learning Disabilities is launching a first of it’s kind Spanish online kit. This is only the first in a series of steps that include an informational campaign that will reach out to education and community leaders and an advertising campaign to reach families through … 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

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

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