¡Hola! What a privilege it is that you (yes, YOU!) stopped by to check out our family’s blog. Perhaps you also are bilingual and want to pass this on to your children — How does this work?! Or maybe you’re not-yet-bilingual and want to expose your kids while they’re young — it’s great to start anytime! Or you’re simply curious about how all this works! No matter your reason for visiting, ¡Muchas gracias for joining in our bilingual adventures! We’re so glad you’re here!
The Personal Background
I am Kate Rodriguez, and I am the writer here at the Bilingual Bubble. In my posts, my husband is affectionately called Tico (a common nickname for Costa Ricans) and my daughter is best known as Guapa (one of those sweet terms of endearment for the ladies in your life).
Together, we are a Spanglish family.
Tico and I are both sequential bilinguals, that is, we learned one language really (really) well, and then as adults, we both learned our second language. Guapa is considered a simultaneous bilingual as she has been absorbing both languages from the very beginning.
While growing up, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would someday be able to communicate in Spanish, let alone teach in a Dual Language classroom full-time and be a Spanglish wife and mommy. And despite my current life being beyond what I ever dreamed up on my own, I truly am loving it (most days!).
The Educational Background
I began learning my second language at 22 years of age , and it was truly a humbling experience. I had just graduated from college and had that “on-top-of-the-world” feeling, yet I was not able to find a local job in education because, ironically, I had no experience. After googling (“To google” is a verb now, right?) jobs in Central and South America, I landed a teaching job in San José, Costa Rica, teaching English by day. My mission by night (er, evening…) was to learn Spanish with the help of a tutor and several Costa Rican families that I lived with. I am forever indebted to these patient, kind ticos for loving me through the good and the bad during my three years in Costa Rica.
At the age of 25, I moved back to the U.S. and ever since have been teaching in bilingual and dual language classrooms. After graduating (again) with a masters degree in bilingual education, my love for teaching is now a deeply-rooted lifestyle.
Tico and I have chosen the classic “Minority Language at Home” strategy to use with our Guapa. Even now, she is surrounded by a majority language (English) here in the U.S., and we want to emphasize that knowing a minority language (in this case, Spanish) is also important. If we were to ever move to Costa Rica, the majority/minority would switch (majority then being Spanish and minority then being English), so we would flip-flop which language we speak as a family.
*****If you want more information about this (rather than me saying what’s already been said), here’s a solid explanation about different parenting language strategies at one of my favorite bilingual sites: www.bilingualmonkeys.com. *****
Because we both speak Spanish, “Minority Language at Home” seemed a natural fit for us. In other words, we speak Spanish between the three of us. At home. At church. At friends’ houses. Even when the language in a given situation is English, we turn to Guapa and speak Spanish. Please know that we are making all efforts to be consistent for her benefit; we are not trying to be rude or to leave you out of our conversation. We make every effort to include English speakers in our conversations as well, and we love when you join in with any Spanish words you might know!
Other Blogs by Yours Truly
You might also enjoy my other past and present blogs:
My Time in Costa Rica: http://kate-in-costa-rica.blogspot.com/
My Classroom: https://4thdlignite.wordpress.com/