Alexis (2)

Violeta’s son, Alexis.

I plan to teach my son both English and Spanish. When I was in high school I would have said absolutely not; but I have changed my way of thinking. My son is going to learn Spanish first. I have been teaching him both, but I want to make sure that he learns a lot of his Spanish early, because once he goes to school he will be communicating mainly in English. I don’t think he is going to have as many opportunities to learn Spanish when he gets older, which is why I want him to understand Spanish first and then English would be his secondary language. I have to admit that I teach him more Spanish than English. If I’m cooking I bring him to the kitchen in his car seat and place him close to me. Whenever I grab something like a spoon I’ll say “cuchara, spoon, cuchara, spoon” and he just looks at me with a confused expression.

Alexis 2 (2)To me, being bilingual is one of the best things that could have happened to me.  It has enabled me to adapt and appreciate my life in the U.S and knowing Spanish is a reminder and appreciation of where I come from.  People have asked me if I am embarrassed of my accent when I speak English. I tell them that at some point I was embarrassed, but now I have learned to see it as an asset.  It is a reminder of where I come from, where I am at, and where I plan to go.  Being bilingual has opened many doors for me. I am sure it played a huge role in all of the different jobs I have held, especially those after graduating from Iowa State.

Being bilingual will give my son a great advantage because he could learn an additional language that it is not English or Spanish.  He will also communicate with people from both cultures and, just like me,  he will be able to see the good and the bad of both sides.  He will be able to help both English and Spanish speakers.  It will also be easier for him to obtain jobs since he could be multilingual.  My goal is to prepare him to be better off than I am, and I think that teaching him to be bilingual is a good start.

“It is a reminder of where I come from, where I am at, and where I plan to go.”