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

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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