Bilingual Parenting: Journey Toward Spanish Fluency
Well, it’s been a while since I blogged about my journey towards being bilingual. A while back, I wrote a post about losing my Spanish and how the criticism from family and friends about whether I should be speaking Spanish left me feeling like an outsider. I have to admit, I’m still uncomfortable in Spanish conversations and since I’ve been avoiding full-on Spanish, you know what that means…I’m still not really gaining it back yet. I’ve been talking with my husband a lot lately about re-learning Spanish and getting back out there to feel comfy holding a full conversation again. We’ve been practicing Tracy’s Spanish Summer a bit each day and I’ve noticed an audible difference in my daughter’s speech. Her pronunciation is gaining and so is her interest. She’ll often ask me outright if we can watch a “Spanish” movie or read her “Spanish” books. I love that she is gaining more interest and teaching her more Spanish has been a big focus for me lately, but it’s also got me thinking. I can’t keep teaching her with my limited knowledge…I need to be fluent!
So, what is one to do? I’ve thought about taking classes at our local multicultural center, I’ve thought about going back to college and taking up my Spanish courses again, I’ve even thought about online learning and at home courses. What I’m most concerned about though, is if I do take up Spanish and there’s not a formal structure, I’m afraid I won’t make it a priority. When a mom gets busy and has a lot on her plate, we all know that some things tend to get pushed to the side. I’m beginning to think the only two ways to do it right now, are either a strict lesson plan or a trip abroad. My husband, who grew up in a home where speaking Spanish was forbidden, is eager to go abroad and find the fluency that he’s been seeking all his life, not to mention absorbing his roots and heritage. For me, this seems an impossible dream in some ways. I’ve never been out of the country and I’ve never flown on a plane, so it’s seems extravagant and distant to me…but a nice dream, nonetheless. We think often about short trips, maybe expat-ing it, but we haven’t made the leap yet. Hopefully soon. Until then, I’ll be doing some research online about Spanish learning resources and I thought it would be great if you could also share your favorites!
What website are the best for learning Spanish online? If you’ve ever visited Mexico or traveled abroad, how do you start planning your trips? Also, what do you think? How long of a trip is required to build fluency abroad? Should we be expat-ing it? I’d love to hear you insights!