Music and Bilingualism

Music is one of the easiest ways to start building a connection to language. Even if you’re not a musical person, there’s a universality to music that makes it an effective tool for transferring knowledge. We’ve seen it in our homes.

In this episode, we spoke to Dr. Susanne Reiterer, associate professor at the Faculty of Philology and Cultural Studies and the Center for Teacher Education in the University of Vienna, and to Will Stroet, an award-winning multilingual children’s music singer-songwriter and educator based in Vancouver.

 

You’ll hear about the connection between musicality and language learning and how music can be an effective tool to teach languages.

In preparation for this episode, we asked our listeners to share their favorite music and artists to listen to in their target language. See the full list of bilingual music recommendations. It’s a good one!

 

Family Dynamics and Bilingualism

What does your bilingual family look like? Do you speak only the minority language at home? Do you speak both English and the target language? Do you speak English-only? In this episode, we explore how these family dynamics influence outcomes in bilingualism.

Joining us to discuss this is Dr. Anny Castilla-Earls from the University of Houston, and a group of parents raising bilingual children.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Annick De Houwer

ADDITIONAL READING

The Languages You Speak To Your Bilingual ChildPsychology Today, Oct. 24, 2014

One-Person, One-Language and Your Bilingual ChildPsychology Today, April 1, 2015

Learning Spanish with the Kids

This week on Entre Dos, we talk to Aileen Passariello-McAleer, of Mama-LinguaShe talks to us about her app, which is aimed at teaching both parents and kids Spanish, as well as her new book Simon Goes To School, which tackles the joys and challenges of attending a dual language school.

You’ll hear Aileen give advice about starting a target language playgroup and her thoughts on dual-language education in the U.S. Hint: she’s very passionate about his subject!

 

Bilingual Homeschooling

This week on Entre Dos, we talk to Catalina Burton, author of the blog Raising Bilingual Children. There, Catalina chronicles her experiences homeschooling her four-year-old daughter, Mia.

In this episode, Catalina talks to us about her family, why she chose to homeschool and what resources she has found helpful in homeschooling her daughter. She also shared advice for parents considering bilingual homeschooling.

Follow Catalina on Instagram @raisingbilingualchildren. Her account is full of ideas and resources even non-homeschoolers will find useful.

Continue reading “Bilingual Homeschooling”

Author Spotlight: Jorge Tetl Argueta and his library of dreams

We talked to poet and children’s book author, Jorge Tetl Argueta, about why he writes for children and his passion for promoting literacy. Argueta’s poems give us a glimpse of communities that are often misrepresented, erased, and dehumanized in U.S. American literature. His books, which center mostly around his homeland of El Salvador, offer a beautiful counter-narrative meant to build a positive self-image and empathy for our growing immigrant communities.

Jorge Tetl Argueta

Continue reading “Author Spotlight: Jorge Tetl Argueta and his library of dreams”

Growing Up Between Two Cultures

Paula’s cousin, Juliana, talks about her experience growing up between two cultures. Juli, as she’s affectionately known in her family, was born in the U.S. to a Colombian family. She grew up in Katy, Texas, her first language was Spanish and she attended a dual-language elementary school program, but as she grew older, she began to notice many things that come with growing up between two different cultures and the feeling of not completely fitting into one or the other.

Juliana and her familia.

Now, as she readies to head to college, Juli has come to terms with her identity and feels proud of her two cultures. She offered some words of advice for other kids and gave us some insight into what our daughters and other bilingual kids may experience as they grow up.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Spanglish

What We Love: Bebé’s First Library

In this special episode, Monika and Paula share some of their favorite books in Spanish for babies and young toddlers, and give a few tips on how to choose books for the younger crowd. It’s part of a series we’ll call What We Love/Lo Que Más Nos Gusta.

Continue reading “What We Love: Bebé’s First Library”

Decoding the Bilingual Brain: Part II

What goes on in our brains when we speak more than one language? Dr. Arturo Hernandez, a professor of psychology and Director of the Laboratory for the Neural Bases of Bilingualism at the University of Houston, has spent 15 years investigating bilingual language processing and acquisition.

This week, in the second part of our interview, we discuss how second-language literacy can aid in cementing a language, the role of age in language acquisition and what expected language development looks like (hint: it’s not linear). Arturo also shares what he’s working on now.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

The Bilingual Brain by Arturo E. Hernandez, Oxford University Press

Age of Acquisition

Biliteracy

The Bilingual Brain, Coursera

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We want to hear from you! Join the Entre Dos Community on Facebook to share your experiences, questions, and discoveries with other parents raising bilingual kids.

Decoding the Bilingual Brain: Part I

What goes on in our brains when we speak more than one language? Dr. Arturo Hernandez, a professor of psychology and Director of the Laboratory for the Neural Bases of Bilingualism at the University of Houston, has spent 15 years investigating bilingual language processing and acquisition.

This week, in the first part of our two-part interview, he discusses how the brain is able to process multiple languages, code-switching and his own experience as a multilingual and a parent of bilingual children.

Continue reading “Decoding the Bilingual Brain: Part I”

Children in Crisis: How to Help

Tens of thousands of children and families make the arduous, dangerous journey to the southern border into the United States to seek asylum from conflicts or disasters with the hope of finding a better, safer life. In the past few months, children have been separated from their families at the border,  to be detained in separate facilities and it really seems like this humanitarian crisis has no end in sight.

Want to help?

 REFORMA Children in Crisis and KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) are delivering books to youths in detention centers right now and they need your help. Books and reading save lives and give traumatized children a chance to become whole, contributing citizens as they grow up. It also lets them know we care.

REFORMA , the national association to promote library and information services to latinos and the Spanish speaking, delivers books in Spanish to children and youth in detention centers, shelters, law offices and group homes around the country where immigrant youth are sent after being processed. Donations through their website are preferred so they can avoid the cost of shipping the books to the places they serve. They purchase new books in Spanish, bilingual and indigenous languages and skillfully match the content to the language and social/emotional needs of the reader.

KIND , a pro bono law firm that represents unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone, gives books to these children as they enter court proceedings for deportation. These kids and teens read Spanish, bilingual, and indigenous languages but books in English are welcome too. You can send new books to two locations that serve immigrant children and youth in those areas.

Alejandra Tovar, Paralegal and/or American Hernandez, Social Services Coordinator
KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)
UC Merced Fresno Center
550 E. Shaw Avenue, Suite 240, Room 10
Fresno, CA 93710

Katie Annand and/or Alejandra Tovar
KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)
200 Pine Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104.

We care about these children as if they were our own. Let them know you care too.

Monika & Paula

El Mundial

The excitement of the World Cup goes beyond futbol. It’s a time every four years when for 90 minutes a stranger may become your best friend, when families and people from all walks of life gather around the television to watch their country’s team play its heart out, when a goal, a win or a nice play fills you with hope. For people living outside their countries, la Copa is also a way to connect to their homeland, and for their kids, a way to learn about their identity.

In this episode, we briefly talked with Paula and her brother about what the World Cup means to them and how it creates opportunities to connect with other countries and our cultural identity.

Continue reading “El Mundial”

Raising Bilingual Readers

Reading has many benefits for children, and for bilingual children, reading in the language you’re trying to teach them is a fun, effortless way to help develop and maintain that language. For us at Entre Dos, reading has been an invaluable tool in developing our daughters’ Spanish. In this week’s episode, we speak to Vanessa Nielsen Molina of Sol Book Box, a subscription service that sends one Spanish-language or bilingual children’s book to your home every month.

Vanessa tells us how to choose quality books for children and how to encourage them to become readers. She also shares a few of her favorite children’s books in Spanish.

Continue reading “Raising Bilingual Readers”

Canticos: Sharing culture and building connections through music

Music is a useful tool to expose kids to language and culture. Singing to or with your child is not only fun, it’s also a way to connect and introduce words, concepts, and sounds.

Susie Jaramillo is the co-founder of Canticos, a company that creates bilingual books, apps and videos for young children based on Latin American nursery rhymes. In this episode, she talks to us about what led her to start her business, how she feels her products create understanding among cultures and her tips for raising bilingual kids.

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Frambuesa or Raspberry? Expert Anny Castilla-Earls tells us what we can expect from an emergent bilingual mind

Mami, quiero raspberries. Statements like these may make you worry about your child’s grasp of the language you’re working so hard to teach him or her, but much of what worries us as parents of bilingual children is typical of their development. What is expected bilingual development? And what can we as parents do to help our kids maintain the language?

Anny Castilla-EarlsAnny Castilla-Earls is an associate professor and researcher at the department of communication disorders and sciences at the University of Houston. Her research focuses on language development, assessment, and disorders in monolingual and bilingual children. She’s also mom to six-year-old bilingual twins and a passionate advocate for bilingualism.

Aside from telling us about her bilingual family, Anny shared her expertise on raising bilingual children.

Continue reading “Frambuesa or Raspberry? Expert Anny Castilla-Earls tells us what we can expect from an emergent bilingual mind”