One of the best ways to stick to something, to see it through, is to know why you are doing something. For my wife and me there were a number of reasons why we wanted our son to speak Spanish and English, but there were three main ones.
- He’s half Peruvian. My wife was born in the United States, but her is from Peru. Being able to speak Spanish with them and (other family members) is a top priority for us.
- I teach Spanish. I spent the better part of two decades (yikes) getting to where I’m at in Spanish. I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty good. I don’t want to have my son grow up and not speak a language he has immediate access to. Right now he doesn’t even realize he’s learning two languages–to him it’s all just language. And at 19 months language is just a hilarious combination of sounds that may or may not have meaning. It’s a game to him, which makes acquisition oh-so-easy!
- The future is unknown, and maybe he won’t want to move to a Spanish-speaking country. Or maybe he’ll be a doctor that helps give people in rural areas of Guatemala access to medicine. If he can speak it now, I know it will open doors for him later.
Knowing your “why” is especially important when things get tough. And in a society that places little value on speaking more than one language, raising multilingual children is anything but easy.
What’s your why? Please leave a comment and join the discussion!
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