According to Dr. Sears, I am on the right track in my attempt at raising Becca to speak Spanish and English. He confirms what I have read and heard from others:
- Each parent should speak one language – The child connects the language to one particular parent and does less switching between the languages. This has been harder to do then I expected. Since my MIL speaks mostly Spanish, I find that we often speak Spanish or “spanglish” at home.
- Speak the minority language at home – A number of people had mentioned that when a child starts school it can be hard to maintain the second language. So I was thinking it might be helpful to switch exclusively to Spanish at home once Becca is in school. This definitely encourages me to do that (and it encourages me to improve my own Spanish).
Becca has been making progress with speaking English and Spanish and seems to respond to both. Right now, I would say that she has more Spanish words than English. I am okay with that because she is being exposed to English and I know she will definitely pick it up at school. I also want to make sure that she is exposed to her Mexican culture and her Irish-American culture. It is important to me that she is proud of her heritage. My biggest concern right now is that she is exposed to quality Spanish and quality English. If she is just learning ‘spanglish’ than we are wasting our time.
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