Garanimals Blog

January 7th, 2014 at 5:01 am

Things We are Changing in Our Bilingual Home

2616385537_41df926ac7I’m not huge on New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve been noticing a few things in my bilingual household that I’d like to change before it’s too late. My husband and I are raising our kids bilingual, which means we only speak to them in Spanish. While I’m happy with what we’ve accomplished so far, I can see how I need to be even more conscious about their constant use of Spanish if I want them to stay bilingual.

That’s why I’ve decided to implement a few things. For starters, I need to go back to reading to both my kids. I still do this every so often, but I have to go back to reading to them every single day. My daughter’s old enough to read to herself and she does so on a daily basis, but I have noticed that she’s starting to forget a lot of basic words in Spanish. So she ends up saying a whole sentence in Spanish using the English version of the word she doesn’t know. Reading is one of the best ways of expanding a child’s vocabulary.

During the Christmas break, my kids got to watch a lot more TV than they normally would and most of it was in English. Although they won’t be watching nearly as much now that school is back in session, I have to go back to enforcing that whatever they watch has to be in Spanish. That’s not always possible, but I have to ensure that they do whenever it is.

Finally, the new rule will be that in order to use my tablet or smartphone, they have to agree to use apps in Spanish. Luckily, there’s a ton of them out there, so this shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll keep you posted!

Photo credit: Neeta Lind

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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