Friday, July 22, 2011

Spanish: To speak or not to speak - That is the question!

I do know that I should speak Spanish at ALL times with the kids for them to grow up 100% bilingual, but I have found this "supposedly simple" task very difficult, and here is why? (Read my very lame excuses)
  • I am the only Spanish speaker in the household, neighbourhood, school - you name it!
  • I did not start early enough, so when I started the kids were already talking and they keep hitting me with the "I do not understand" phrase.
  • As they "did not understand" it was so much easier to do the "hard" conversations with them in English. Hard conversations do happen quite a lot with little kids - these are the ones you have when:
    • you are in a hurry - " we are already late for school, what do you mean you need to change again? really it does match!!"
    • you need to warn them about something - "don't touch that!" "stop running so far away from me"
    • you need to reprimand them about something - "why did you hit your brother?"
The excuses will always be there, so I am now trying to use a little bit more discipline (it is still hard though). I have started to do the "hurry conversations" in Spanish - it works, they get it or at least they know that Mami is rumbling madly in that crazy language so they better hurry up!

The "warning conversations" are still in English - so much at risk, so I will still yell "STOP" in the clearest loudest English I can possibly utter!

The "you are so naughty conversations" are still half and half. It all depends on how bad the action is that triggered the talk.  The naughtier it is the more English I use.

Now, there are the day to day conversations. I am definitely getting better at that - Still not perfect but as they say: one step at a time!!

I am going to try the " I don't understand" back at them this week and see what happens. Will certainly let you know.

To speak or not to speak? Speak is the answer!


mami habla espanol said...

You're right! we always find excuses but it's never late to start, if they refuse to talk, give them something in exchange, speak in Spanish while you drive but don't give up! My youngest was refusing to speak in Spanish but I had a very serious conversation with him and he promised me to do his best and he said that he doesn't need to speak Spanish here in the states! :-) BUT he will do it for me, and he is trying but I have to remind him everytime and if he wants something I don;t give it to him unless he asks in Spanish, that is my rule.
Good luck!

Party Artist said...

Thanks for the encouragement - I am surely not giving up!!

Groovy Baby Blog said...

Yes is never to late, You will love it!, I don't have words to describe how amazing and exciting is when my Daughter Angelica talk to me in spanish and we have fun also.
Let Us know how goes.

Helena said...

Yo se lo que dices a veces es mas facil hablarle en ingles - en el caso de mi hijo xq va a speech therapy y son en ingles. Pero ahi vamos poco a poco en español y ya va mejorando. Ayuda tambien que las maestras son Cubanas y le hablan en español.

Uchi said...

Gracias por el articulo!

mi niña de 3 años habla los 2 idiomas muy bien. Espero que no pierda el español !

Mamá Noticias said...

Somos MAMA BICULTURALES y es muy importante que nuestra lengua madre prevalezca. Saludos, mi hijo habla los dos idiomas y le gusta mucho el interactuar en ambos idiomas

Cristina said...

Mi chiquita de 3 anhitos tambien habla bien los dos idiomas, solo habla en Espanol conmigo y mi hermana. Ojala que siga asi y que cuando entre a la escuela no cambie :(

Teresa Garza said...

El hablar los dos idiomas, lo digo en mi caso particular por mis hijos, les ha abierto el doble de oportunidades. Tienen la facilidad de hablar los dos idiomas perfecto y sin acentos. Nuestra técnica siempre fue hablarles en Español en casa, y en la Escuela, con sus amigos e incluso entre ellos se hablan en Inglés.
Teresa Garza

Janett-Cocinando/MisManualidades said...

Yo tambien hablo las 2 cosas con mi hijo! desde muy pequeno a el se le facilito mucho mas el ingles y lo que yo le ensenaba un dia en espanol al dia siguiente lo decia en ingles :S aunque le leo y tengo cuentos en espanol comprendo que su idioma principal es el ingles y que el espanol sera su segundo idioma, cuando quiere me habla en espanol aunque siempre trata de hablarle espanol a sus abuelos tanto paternos como maternos :D

Party Artist said...

Thank you all for your comments - I do think it is payingoff already!!! my family has been here for teh last 3 weeks and I can see how the kids are more able to communicate with them. I dream of the day in where my kids can have a full conversation with my mother!!

spanish4kiddos said...

I know sometimes it can be difficult just trying to get the kids to listen to you at all in English, let alone in another language. But even if you have started at some point speaking Spanish, I still believe they can pick it up by just reading or listening to Spanish books and songs. You're the best teacher to them, even if it means that they pick up a few words here and there. Just when you taught them to walk and potty, you can teach them Spanish, too :)
Have a great week,
Spanish4Kiddos – The Spanish Science Corner

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