I am not a native Spanish speaker, but the language is my passion. I have been studying Spanish for more than twenty years, and I am raising two simultaneously bilingual children using the “one parent one language” (OPOL) method. Dad speaks English with them, and Mamá speaks only Spanish. I am also very fortunate to have help from native Spanish-speaking caregivers and friends.
Raising children in my non-native language has given me unusual insight into what blind spots exist when one’s language formation has been purely academic. For example, for the first month of my daughter’s life, I called diapers (pañales), which means light scarves or handkerchiefs (pañuelos).
Being bilingual is common around the world, but it is not the norm for most American children. However, I anticipate a growing need and desire for Americans to embrace bilingualism. Events of the past few years have shown us that our lives are more global and interconnected than ever.
So in that short window between my children’s bedtime and my own, poco a poco I’m (slowly) developing Spanish-language content to help English-native and Spanish heritage speakers improve their own Spanish while encouraging bilingualism in their children.