Raising a Bilingual Kid: It’s the Little Things That Count

raising a bilingual kid
It’s the little thngs that make the difference… muchas veces.

This was an actual conversation between Edgar and I.  We had just finished raiding all of the clearance racks at Target – we always do; we can’t leave the store without doing so – when a kid about his age walked by us talking in perfect Spanish to another child.

Me:  Edgar, did you hear that kid?

Edgar:  Which one?  The one that just passed by?

Me:  Yeah… you hear how he was talking in Spanish?  That’s how I want you to talk Spanish… that fluent. *chuckling a little now*

Edgar:  I can’t talk that much Spanish!  Then I’ll forget how to talk English.  I’ll be like “no puedo hablar, no puedo hablar… se me olvido… Spanish!  Oh look I did remember!” *laughing now*

I looked at Anjelica and shook my head: ¡inche huerco!  He’s too dang smart for his own good!  Oh well, por lo menos he’s  getting used to the idea of being bilingual.

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8 thoughts on “Raising a Bilingual Kid: It’s the Little Things That Count

  1. Lovely anecdote. However, I must take umbridge to the adjectives: “perfect Spanish” no such thing.
    Thelma Trejo

  2. We’re working on raising our sons bilingual. I think it’s harder than it sounds. I really notice how far our oldest is from fluent when we Skype with his grandparents in Madrid. They don’t know how to speak using basic speech, and he just checks out. It’s so frustrating. Sounds like your son is closer than ours.

  3. I think the key is in only speaking Spanish at home and really sticking to it. It worked for my parents raising me and now it’s the game plan with my sons– though I have the added caveat that my husband is not Latino.

    Pero de que podemos, lo hacemos.

    1. Speaking only Spanish at home is exactly how my parents did it, and all of us “kids” are fluent in both languages. We can all read and write in Spanish, too. “De la puerta para fuera, ingles, pero aqui en esta casa, puro espanol.” And to this day, that threshold is like a little automatic switch; instantly the language changes from one to the other, with little to no mixing once crossed. My parents figured we’d learn proper English in school anyway, so they’d take care of the Spanish at home, and they were right.

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