Happy Friday, amig@s!
And, a big shoutout to Leah, the winner of the Chévere Apparel t-shirt giveaway! (The winner was selected at random through Rafflecopter.)
Thanks so much to all my readers who entered and left some great ideas for Kathy at C.A. about what to put on her next line of baby t-shirts. If you missed part 1 of my interview with her from Wednesday, you can catch it here.
For this week’s installment of “Family Fridays” (our regularly-scheduled Friday routine), Kathy from Chévere Apparel talks to us a bit about her own journey growing up in bilingual, as well as what it’s like to raise her four gorgeous children in two languages.
Be encouraged, friends.
Ser bilingüe (Being bilingual)
Tell us a little bit about your bilingual journey growing up.
Growing up my parents only spoke Spanish to me and it was my first language. I learned English at a very young age and it was my primary language for many years as I was very embarrassed to be different than my friends (I lived in a monolingual community). In high school this changed however as I met friends who were also Spanish-speaking and I began to embrace this part of my identity. I began to take courses about Hispanic language and literature and fell in love. In college I majored in Spanish and Education and here I am today a Spanish teacher hoping to share my love and passion for my language and culture with my children and students.
Can you paint us a picture of your daily life now in terms of language use. Which languages do you use, when, with whom, for what, etc.?
At home I primarily speak in Spanish with my children and sometimes in English with my two eldest. Since they are now in school it has been harder to stay in Spanish with them because they are pretty resistant. I know I should be more consistent but I won’t lie – it is hard! Especially with my teen, who seems to be going through what I went through in middle and high school. I speak to them in Spanish and they just answer back in English.
With my babies and husband I only speak in Spanish. At work it is a mixture of both since I work with both non-Spanish-speaking and Spanish-speaking adults. In the classroom I try to maintain my Spanish at 90% of the class period.
What does being bilingual mean to you? What do you love about knowing two languages?
Being bilingual to me is so important. I feel so fortunate to speak multiple languages (I also speak some Portuguese). It brings me such pride that not only can I speak another language but I can also relate to a whole other culture. I love that I can go back and forth entre los dos idiomas without blinking or thinking dos veces about it. I’m so comfortable in both languages that I feel I can do anything in both – read, watch movies, converse, write. I love that there are 21 places in the world that I can visit and be understood. I love that there are words in my mother tongue that are so unique they can’t be translated. I love that not only can I speak Spanish – but also I understand how it works and I can teach others about it too. I love that Spanish is such a glorious language that it has so many variations in accents and vocabulary. En fin, being bilingual is such an enormous part of what makes me, me.
Muchas gracias to Kathy from Chévere Apparel for walking us through your life in two languages. And, a big thanks for participating in the giveaway with us on the blog!