For almost two years I had been stumbling about on this language journey alone. Then I found my people!
I wrote in a previous post about the awkwardness of speaking to my newborn in my second language. I knew instinctively that I needed a community if Spanish was ever going to become normal for me and my kids.
We found our community though a Spanish Immersion Preschool Coop!
It was a requirement that parents attend with their children. We were creating a Spanish-only environment in an English-dominant culture.
Basically, we were creating the need for our children to speak Spanish.
There was circle-time, and crafts, and play-time...all in Spanish! The community was warm and welcoming!
The parents were from all over Latin America, and even a few like me - non-native Spanish speakers trying to gift their children a second language.
My outgoing toddler was shy at first. Even though he didn’t have many words, he understood English perfectly and he was fully aware that he didn’t understand a thing at Spanish Coop.
However, the games and crafts won him over. He loved going!
In less than two months he was obviously understanding commands and directions! And then it happened...he began SPEAKING SPANISH!
I can’t tell you when exactly it happened. But slowly and surely, his little brain was beginning to acquire a second language. At home, he preferred to speak English, his stronger language. But at Coop he would speak only Spanish.
My dreams were coming true!
My little boy was bilingual!
It’d be nice to say things went smoothly from there, but after two years with our Coop a job opportunity moved us to a new town.
Our bilingual journey was about to look very different. But more on that later...
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What about you? Have you found your people?
I'd love to hear your story. Let me know in the comments.