¡Hola world!


November 9, 2012 by empraise

¡Hola!  Welcome to the blog…we are weird…we know!  Having grown up in monolingual (English speaking) families, we fell so in love with a language that we are attempting to teach it to our son from infancy.  As non-native speakers.  And to make matters more interesting, we each love different languages!  My husband learned German as an adult while we were living in Africa and I have studied Spanish since middle school, falling in love with it even more in college when I lived and studied in Spain.  We now live in South Korea surrounded by a plethora of languages including Russian, Korean, Portuguese and French.

So.  Here we go.  As much as I hate to label our precious Gift-From-God son an “experiment”, that’s kind of what he is.  I speak Spanish to him when we are alone, my husband speaks German to him, and he hears us speak English to each other and family/friends. As much as monolingual parents probably doubt themselves and feel inadequate–I feel so inadequate!  I sometimes question our decision, often question my abilities, but I am incredibly passionate about giving our smart, sweet, bundle of joy, the amazing gift of multi-lingualism.  It is truly a gift.  It opens doors.  It breaks down walls.  It creates relationships where there would have been none.  It spans the globe.  It is worth it!

  • In light of our special situation, I am looking for help and resources from every direction.  My husband relentlessly researches, reads, and scours the internet for good ideas.  I am not great at that, but the small amount of research I have done has been very helpful, though there seems to be a shortage of information about bilingualism for non-native speakers.  So I wanted to create this blog to:
  • Serve as a community for non-native speakers raising bilingual kids.  As source of inspiration, feedback, and help.
  • A resource for native-speaking bilingual parents.  A place to reach out and maybe assist some of the rest of us 🙂
  • Share ideas for raising little bilinguals–practical activities, resources, websites, books, videos, etc.
  • Improve my own Spanish (yes, I’m going to attempt to write some in Spanish!) and build relevant vocabulary
  • Have a little fun with recipes and music too!

Even as I write this, my 14 month old has grabbed a glass vase off a forbidden shelf.  So, alas, I will always be writing in a rush (during my limited time while he is napping, or while he is momentarily entertained).  And I am committing to myself to use this outlet as a help and not a hindrance to my motherhood.  Hopefully, it will be that for you too.



9 thoughts on “¡Hola world!

  1. Cheryl says:

    ¡Sigue adelante! ¡Eres más valiente que yo!
    Como maestra, yo recomiendo lo que seguramente ya estás haciendo….un montón de cuentos de niños (yo siempre aprendo palabras nuevas cuando los usan con mis estudiantes, especialmente si puedes encontrarlos de una variedad de países hispanohablantes…y con la Red es muy posible), un montón de música (te ayudará con el lenguaje no-nativo porque puedes introducir a tu hijo a una variedad de acentos y vocabulario específicamente de muchas regiones), juegos a la mesa en español (o alemán para tu marido) cuando él esté mayor, ¡y la tele!….otra vez resuelva ” el problema” de no eres nativohablante y es divertido y puedes encontrar programas para cada edad de niños (hay un montón de programas en Youtube sí no tienes acceso a canales españoles y alemanes). Conozco a una amiga de una amiga que intentó hacer esta cosa de enseñar una idioma que no es su idioma nativo…ellos usaron lugares específicos para usar un idioma para que su hijo no estuviera confundido de cuál idioma fue…por ejemplo español adentro de la casa e inglés afuera.

    Y finalmente tienes que darte cuenta de que tú sabes cosas que no saben los nativos. Entiendes cómo aprender un idioma…tú conoces a tu hijo mejor que nadie…etc. Entiendo muy bien el sentido de sentirme inadecuada de enseñar un idioma que no es mi idioma pero tengo que enfocarme a mejores pensamientos. 🙂

    ¡Te echo de menos!

    • empraise says:

      Gracias amiga…te extraño también! Me asombró que bien escribes en español, pero no sé porque…siempre has estado mejor que yo…jaja! Gracias por leer, y gracias por el apoyo y las ideas. Sí, usamos YouTube mucho…que hicieron antes de había el Red?? Ojala que estuvieras aquí conmigo…pero esto es casi lo mismo 🙂

  2. Tracey Strother says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to read more! We’re in a similar boat teaching Brooklyn sign language.

  3. Mary Riedel says:

    my son Gavin loves Dora the Explorer – it is pretty interactive and she uses a mixture of English and Spanish (or you can find it just in Spanish probably). Do you have Netflix? They have a bunch of episodes.

  4. Tonya says:

    Your awesome parents!

  5. Bonne Maman says:

    I am so excited to have found another non-native parent… Your story sounds very exciting and i will be tagging along to watch it unfold. Reading the post above really struck a chord with me… the moments of ‘why on earth am I doing this, it would be so much easier just to speak my native language’ come and go for me. I agree with you that what we are doing is a gift. On the days when my brain is tired… i do wonder whether there would be an equally nice but easier gift to give..:D but deep down, I know its worth every bit of energy it takes. Good luck.

    • empraise says:

      Thank you! I am so thankful for the online community to bounce ideas off of and I hope to be an encouragement, as you are to me! Those “why on earth am I doing this” moments are easier to ride out when you know there are others making the same effort!

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