I consider myself so fortunate to be able to have been raised to be bilingual. Being able to understand Spanish has given me the ability to be able to interact with family that I wouldn’t have been otherwise been able to. I’ve also been able to enjoy Spanish music in a way that perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to had I not had a grasp on the language. Not only are there great cultural reasons to speak another language, there have been studies showing that being bilingual can help with multitasking, as well as possibly delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Before I had my little guy, I always thought it would be a no brainer that I would be teaching my kids Spanish. I received lots of baby books in Spanish to help me with my goals. After Billy came into the world, and the months after, I found myself speaking mostly English to him. I felt so awkward speaking to my baby in the language that I knew, but wasn’t the most comfortable with. I did not realize how difficult it would be to take on this goal without the family support and the environment that I had growing up with plenty of native Spanish speakers.
I’m thrilled that the local schools are doing dual language programs, so that once he is ready for kindergarten, there will be the kind of support and reinforcement that hopefully will help him gain a mastery of the language. I do want to come up with ways that I can start doing things now. He does love music, so I know that would be a no brainer. Reading in Spanish he’s already showing resistance to.
What are your favorite Spanish children’s songs? Any suggestions for me?