Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What do you mean you don't speak Spanish?

If you have  been reading my blog for a little while,  now you might know that I was born in New York, but both of  my parents are Dominican.  When my brother and I were growing up, my mom made sure that we spoke Spanish at home, in order not to forget our first language.  I remember that I didn't  really mind; I mean, both of my parents speak Spanish so I didn't think I had a choice.  My  brother, on the other hand, only wanted to speak English. My mom was very persistent, took us to the library on Saturdays to check out Spanish books so we wouldn't forget our first language.

I remember that during the Summer, we would meet up with my dad and spend the whole Summer in the Dominican Republic. The  best Summers of my childhood were there. Sometimes, some of my cousins would  be there spending their Summers as well.  Most of them lived in New York and it was a lot of fun. One thing that I could never understand, though is why some of my  cousins didn't speak Spanish. I mean, how do you have  Hispanic parents and not speak Spanish?.   I recall having to translate for my grandmother sometimes because my cousins couldn't speak or understand her when she spoke to them.  At my young age, I thought that it was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

As you know,  people always say that children learn by example. Well, I think this is so true. Ever since I became a mom, I made it a priority that when we speak to our son,  we speak to him in Spanish.  He speaks it  very well and he understands it. Most of the TV he watches is in English ,but he also watches cartoons that encourage him to speak Spanish like Handy Manny for example. so I don't worry about him not learning it. I want him to be able to communicate with his family that might not speak English.  Being that we live in Miami, Fl, the melting pot of the world, he also gets a lot of Spanish at school. Another reason that I want my son to be bilingual is because I remember how the rest of the family reacted to my cousins not speaking Spanish. Needless to say, they were not very nice.

As a mom , I believe its my responsibility for my son to grow up to be a well rounded person. I want him to be proud of his background and were his family comes from. I believe that learning to be bilingual at such  an young age will benefit him in the future.

What is your primary language in your home besides English?. Do you think its important for kids to be bilingual? why or why not? I would love to hear your feed back.


Ro said...

I wish I was bilingual. It would me awesomer and I am pushing for Eden to learn spanish and another language in addition.


Design It Chic said...

Hi there Alex! You have such a lovely blog here:) I just found you on SITS and i love it in here. I am now following you and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
And don't forget to stop by our Show Yo' Flow Campaign today to see the interview we have on Dalia and her surprises for everybody! See you there! Happy Thanksgiving week!

Alex said...

Thank you for the comment ladies!!