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.
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.
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-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.