I don’t have an ounce of stored foreign language in my brain! I spent my middle and high school years learning French (not by choice) and my freshman and sophomore year learning Spanish. I absolutely loved Spanish because of some great professors. But let’s be honest, I clowned and even though I loved learning the language, I didn’t retain it.
When I met my fiancé, he was BIG into the Spanish culture. After all, he was getting a degree in it. Fluent. When I found out I was pregnant we both agreed that we wanted her to be bilingual. Here are 2 reasons why:
(1) Brain Development! I know I am thinking long term, but learning a second language actually delays the onset of Alzheimer’s. My great grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years before she passed away at 100 and it was interesting watching her memory and cognitive abilities fade away quickly. According to 23 and Me, I have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Forget the gene! Pregnancy alone was enough for me to lose my memory! I want to do whatever is possible to decrease this potential long term problem for any of my offspring.
(2) It’ll set her apart from others. The world is changing so much. Let me share a quick story! Blake applied for a job in medical sales and it was down to him and another guy. What determined that he got this particular job was that he was bilingual. That degree paid off you hear me! I have no idea what Alina’s calling in life will be, but I know this will be useful at some point in her life.
So, how are we doing it exactly?! Raising a baby bilingual requires massive exposure to the language of your choice. We try to do as much as possible by reading to her and singing to her as well.
(1) Any entertainment (tv shows, movies, etc.) she watches in Spanish. I spend the majority of my time reading subtitles on Netflix! I gotta make sure what she’s being exposed to is appropriate for her! Even though this isn’t “one on one” exposure, I think it’s still great since she spends the majority of her time with me.
(2) 90% of the conversations Blake has with Alina are in Spanish! His nickname for her is mamita, which means little momma. 99.9% of the conversations I have with Alina are in English. That’s right! She get 0.01% of Spanish from me. And that’s mainly me singing the intros to her favorite shows!
(3) We go to the library twice a month and check out books. Blake and I both have library cards and we get about 20 books…half Spanish and the other half English.
There are so many ways that you can immerse you little one in a foreign language. You’ve probably heard the saying, “the brain of a baby is like a sponge, so do it now!” That is true to an extent. Children are FAST learners so exposure at any time is great. Go at your own pace…just stay consistent!
P.S. Comment below what are your thoughts on teaching your little one to be bilingual!
Keep On Blossoming, Mum!