Teaching Spanish & English To Your Kids

Iris - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

19

20

1

I'm bi-ligual. My dad was in the Air Force in Puerto Rico so I went to a DoD (Department of Defense) school. At Ramey (the school) they taught us English and Spanish. My parents and family members all speak both so it wasn't hard for me to pick it up as a child and learn both English and Spanish.



Being a military brat we didn't get to STAY in Puerto Rico. Right now I live in Southeast Georgia where I met my husband. I love him to death and he has invited my culture into his life the way I would want my husband to. He may not be able to pick it up as fast as our daughter but he is trying to learn Spanish. He'll even wear my Puerto Rico t-shirts and get all excited when people think he's Puerto Rican. He's mixed with a lot of things but he has Cherokee in him so he can pass for Puerto Rican. We've actually had people think that we're brother and sister!



I have been trying to teach my daughter both languges so she can gain all the advantages every parent wants their child to have being bi-lingual. My husband can't really speak it to her because he doesn't know much. We've been together 4 years but I speak English so well that he doesn't really have to speak Spanish to me for us to communicate. Don't get me wrong, he'll throw a word or two in that he knows in his sentences but he's not able to string together sentences in Spanish completely aside from the things he wants to really be able to say to me that he basically has memorized like, "Te amo mucho" or "Tu eres mi corazon y mi mundo". Most of my family is either in Puerto Rico or in Florida so being in Georgia doesn't really put my daughter consistently around other Spanish speakers. The only things I have other than me speaking Spanish to her are toys of hers that I can switch the language from English to Spanish and DVDs that I can play in Spanish. My daughter isn't really talking much but she can say more words in English than she can in Spanish. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing her and wonder if I'm just not doing enough. What else can I do to help my baby girl pick up Spanish better?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Laura - posted on 04/20/2010

21

20

4

I've known of a couple success stories where one parent spoke only English to their child and other only in Spanish. It worked out great in both cases. I personally spoke only Spanish to my first two children and then incorporated the English as they got close to school (the last 6-12 months) before school started....lol While they both caught on with Spanish I did see a slight struggle with English. It wasn't enough to affect their schooling. Now with my last two children... as much as I love to say I spoke Spanish only I'd be lying. My 5yr old speaks Spanish but is not what it should be. My 18 month old only understands but it's too hard to tell what's going on with him. He doesn't speak yet.. with the exception of a few words he says in English but then he responds to mostly when spoken to in Spanish (wierd).

I don't think there's a special formula...

I try to use more Spanish because there aren't as many resources for my children to gain it from as there are English. You're taking the initiative and asking questions. That will make all the difference and I'm more then positive your family will do just fine.



Take care and Good Luck!

Jimena - posted on 10/21/2010

7

20

1

I'm trying to teach my son as many languageas as I can. The important thing for them to develop, BEFORE vocabulary, is the ear... they get used to the SOUNDS of a language... that is why as we get older it is harder to learn a new language with correct pronuncciation (not sure that's spelled right). So even if she doesn't understand, it's important that she hears. What I do for my son is to read out-loud. He is only four months old, but he loves it and looks at the pictures and letters... this helps not only with the language issue, but also ingrains him a love for books. Also, my husband isn't so good at English, so reading a children's book is a great way for him to spend time with baby AND practice his Eng. I also sing to him in French, Spanish, Italian, Gallego, as many languages as I can... Look for songs on YouTube: rondas infantiles, Luis Pesceti (he's funny too!) ... and Plaza Sésamo. Hope this helps. Keep it up! You're doing great! :D

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

15 Comments

View replies by

Theresa - posted on 09/30/2010

1

0

0

It could be a little confusing at times but don't give up! I only spoke to my daughter in Spanish the first 3/12 years of her life. My husband would speak to her in English but she had preference for Spanish because I was around her more due to my husband's crazy work hours. I had a more traditional schedule but my Spanish speaking mom would be with her during the day. She spoke in English more open in preschool and became super bilingual. She had Spanish in middle school acording to her level and the same in high school where she was selected to go to Spain over the summer. That wasn't cheap but it was her graduation gift and she just loved it!

Alba - posted on 06/11/2010

10

41

1

Im Ecuadorian and my mother spends a lot of time with my daughter and she only speaks spanish. And i obviously speack both languages but i only speak to my daughter in english. Natalie now 4 can understand spanish but i dont recall her ever speakin it so i guess we'll see as she keeps growing up!

Saren - posted on 06/07/2010

10

28

0

I'm puerto rican/cuban from FL and moved to New Hampshire.. it's white as rice up here! I have spoken to my baby only in Spanish since he was born. My bf is white no spanish. Now baby is 21 months old and can count in spanish and english. I give him the easiest word for the object.. if it's bubbles or estrella.. whatever! lol



he says carro and truck, wa wao and doggie, kaka and poopies, i give him his ABC's in spanish cuz he'll get plenty of it in english except V and like 2 others that are unclear in spanish. Whatever is easiest for her to get will empower her with words.. I teach both but my job is spanish. I talk to him about nap time, objects, happenings, family members, shows, all in spanish.



he speaks both languages so far with relative ease.. picks and chooses which words he wants to use. books i always read in spanish, dad in english. tv is mostly english cuz i forget to change. has toys w both but he really gets spanish from me, it's just how we speak all the time ^-^



i had to get used to it at first, now i speak all the time.



Also, it can be intimidating to speak spanish in a non-spanish public but I bit the bullet for my son. I spoke it more and more until I got comfortable speaking spanish publicly everywhere! Even in close quarters like elevators. I don't pay attention to what people may think, it's my sons future here. I will also put him in spanish classes later to re-enforce the language with proper spelling, grammar, and usage.

Esther - posted on 06/07/2010

6

4

0

Hi!! I don't know if you have read my post about bilingual kids.. but maybe it will help you too!! I'm Spanish and live in Spain and I'm an English teacher as I'm not native thought I couldn't speak English with my children since they were born just a few words..., songs... etc But 9 moths ago I decided together with my hus that our children would loose the opportunity of learning English so well as they just knew some words... then we decided that I would speak english all the time with my younger ones ( 2 and 1 year old) and introduce English progresively to my older child who was 4 ...) so, I go everywhere with a dictionary in my purse!!! Whenever possible (mostly everyday) they wacth the cartoons in English on t.v. and It's amazing how fast they are learning!!! It was only 9 moths ago and they seem to undretand a lot and even they are trying to speak English!! As a teacher, for adults its more complicated to learn another language as we translate and even think in our language but children aren't ashamed and have no rules on their minds...so, keep on trying.. use stories, cartoons and speak with her as a much as possible and you'll see the results so soon!!! ( in the schools the process of learning another language goes slowly but you will have her ear use to listenanother language and her interest for learning Spanish will be an important motivation fact) Good Luck!!

Emily - posted on 05/26/2010

101

25

7

since you speak great spanish you can speak to her in all spanish and with your husband can speak english.

my husband and I speak to my daughter in spanish. my mom gets mad because she says its not fair to her that we speak to her grandaughter in spanish because she doesnt understand. I learned spanish in highschool and am the only one on my side that speaks another language.

So i tell her that she can speak english to her

Anyway back on subject. you can speak to her in spanish. play spanish music, watch spanish tv, you can even put disney dvds in spanish. submerssion is key. when she is old enough make her sit and read and write in spanish. make her practice every day.

i have a friend from colombia that doesnt speak much english but wanted her kids to know spanish too. thats what she did. now they are very good and both languages

Dorina - posted on 05/17/2010

4

16

0

I wish I knew I have 2 kids 8 and 5 and want them to know both but my husband only know english. When my kids were little I asked my mother-in-law to speak to them in spanish but she didnt and my family the same (those who know). But they only talk english ya they like to say words like aqua, leche, baso things like that they understand some I tell them things in spanish and get the look or "you know I don't know mexican". My daughters godparents only know spanish and a grandma so I feel bad when they look at me to help cus they don't know what they were told I am trying to keep up with the spanish and know thats all I can do. I grew up with just english spoken to me and spanish if my parents didnt want me to know what they were saying. When I got older I took jobs where spanish was needed and learned from friends and now I do pretty good some words are kind of hard to pernounce but thats how I learned. I still talk to my kids in both but they know what I am telling them cust they respond back to me olny in english but I know they understood me. Dont give up keep talking to your daughter in both and she will learn.

Mirian - posted on 05/12/2010

5

19

0

I'm a Puerto Rican grandma, and have read, that young kids pick up language if consistently spoken to them. Also speaking to your child in spanish about evrything in her surroundings and asking questions stimulates their brain activity. Don't be discouraged if she doesn't speak back. One day, she'll look right into your eyes, and her words will pour out. Doctors say young kids can learn many languages proficiently. If your husband speaks to her in English, or his native tonque, and you speak to her in spanish, she will have an advantage in her world. When in the presence of my grandchild, I only speak spanish to her. I have been her sitter since 2 1/2 months, she seems to understand every word I say, and answers with "Babble". I also sing in spanish to her, and of course she sings back. Be blessed and don't give up!!!!!

Alma - posted on 05/12/2010

2

6

0

There is a really god cartoon called POCOYO you can see it on Univision Sat @ 7 am. But you can also try to speak more Spanish to your daughter.. or repeat the sentences once in Spanish and then English that what I tried to do. I personally speak more Spanish to my baby but when we are at the groceries, at the restaurant I tried to speak English to him, so he can understand both. We is doing just fine and know few words in Spanish ans few in English.
I hope it helps.

Diana - posted on 05/11/2010

15

17

1

I don't know if you mentioned how old your daughter is maybe I didn't see it. I have a 10 yr daughter. When she was born we spoke to her in both English & Spanish. When she began talking her first words were in Spanish but at the time there weren't many educational resources in Spanish so she picked up English from watching Sesame Street and would not go back to speaking Spanish until she started pre-school. She is now able to communicate in Spanish w/relatives and is starting to read it as well. Just continue doing what you're doing and give it some time. Good luck!

Jacsualem - posted on 05/11/2010

6

27

0

HOLA!! Siendo madre Puertorrique~a, al igual que tu, te recomiendo hacer lo que haz estado haciendo hasta el sol de hoy. La perseverancia ante todo es lo que va a llevar a tu hija (y esposo) a hablar un mejor y casi perfecto espa~ol. Mis hijos, quienes tienen 10 y 6 a~os, hoy en dia son totalmente bilingues, hablan, leen y escriben ambos idiomas, pero no creas que ha sido "cascara de coco", he tenido que dedicar mucho tiempo, esfuerzo y paciencia!!! Por otro lado, seria magnifico el que le consiguieras clases para aprender espa~ol a tu esposo, eso ayudaria muchisimo mas a la nena al ver que su papi tambien le habla espa~ol! Ahora, no pierdas el rumbo, puedes hacer la regla que yo invente en mi hogar: "EN CASA ESPA~OL Y EN LA CALLE INGLES". Con esto me refiero, que aqui en casa se habla un 90% de espa~ol,(el otro 10% acepto que me pregunten significados y cosas de ingles a espa~ol) y en la Calle o fuera de casa se habla 90% ingles y el otro 10% para que me pregunten lo que quieran en espa~ol. So with no more to say, KEEP DOING THE HARD WORK!!!

Nidya - posted on 05/09/2010

24

20

0

I am Puerto Rican but I have lived in the US for 10 years almost 11 yrs and my Spanish got rusty and I can't even understand the current slang my family uses overthere but I kinda picked up on it..
I talk to my daughter mostly in English as her dad is black and knows pretty much little Spanish but his mom is from Panama so she talks to her in Spanish sometimes.. I am basically teaching her words I know she can pronounce to where she is understood and repeat them to her and she repeats them back.. She understand Spanish and English and my mom speaks both but she speaks English most of the time... I think with time your daughter will pick up on it.. Let her learn the English and slowly introduce Spanish..

Fabiola - posted on 05/08/2010

23

21

2

i think your doing a good job. im bi linguil to. i know my daughter knows more english though. my husband doesnt know spanish but he knows some random words that he will throw in when hes talking. but when i play with my daughter i tell her what we are doin and then ill switch back to spanish. like an example is she likes playing with her kitchen set and dishes and i tell her what everthing is in spanish and once i name everything ill switch back over to spanish. the smaller the kids are the easier they will pick it up but it requires some time. i think you are doing good.

Juana - posted on 05/06/2010

48

25

3

I have 4 kids,age 18, 13, 7,and 18mths. I spoke to them in both languages as they were growing up and I think that was a mistake cause my 18yr speaks it ok, but with an accent. my 13yr doesn't like to speak it at all. (he had spanish class for 4 weeks in school and was embarrassed that he was mexican and didn't speak spanish) my parents don't speak english and get mad at me for not forcing my kids to speak in spanish. with my little one I plan to speak only spanish, he will learn english from his brothers and tv. I suggest you teach your husband at the same time as your daughter, and they can learn together, cause if you don't teach her spanish yourself ,the schools wont teach her

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms