THE SPIRITU 4
HEAD, HEART, STOMACH, & FEET
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. On my island, it is not uncommon that people speak Spanish and English. I went to a school where both languages were spoken and classes were taught in English. I was fluent in both languages by the time I graduated from high school. Then I went to Europe and all the kids around me communicated in several languages. It was then that I realized the true value of communicating in more than one language. I also learned about different cultures - my life became enriched by all the people I met. We all learned to appreciate and value each other, and felt so lucky to have had that experience. I decided that I wanted my children to have the same experiences. I wanted that for all children!
What are 5 important tips that every parent raising bilingual children should know?
- Make a family plan and include everyone in your child’s life: grandparents, neighbors, immediate family, friends, teachers. It does take a village to raise bilingual children!
- Be consistent.
- Be patient and make it fun!
- Start as early as possible.
- Read in the desired language at least 3-4 times a week.
- Expose children to activities that promote language and culture.
In 2013, I was asked by Simon and Schuster to write my first book, Raising Bilingual Children, in English and in Spanish. It was published in 2014. Two years later, my book Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie: Raising Bicultural Children was published in both languages. Last year, my first bilingual children’s book Luisito’s Island/La Isla de Luisito was released. It's been an amazing experience.
What are your goals for 2019?
Stay up to date with Maritere and all of her projects by visiting www.maritererodriguezbellas.com.