Thursday, June 9, 2016

Reasons for this decision

If one thing doesn't need any explanation is that parents want the best for their children and they are going to do all they can for them. There are some that have money or that are making a huge effort to save it and provide their children with a bilingual education in private schools; other ones, do all they can so their children can go to certain public schools that have lots of English classes; some spend their holidays in England to get immersed in the language and culture... We do what we can and what we think is the best. I can speak English, for the moment this is what I am going to provide to my son.

For me, there are some important reasons to bring up my son bilingual speaking in Spanish and English.


First,
I am an English teacher. I have been teaching it in two different ways:
- English as a foreign language: giving three or four hours per week of English, teaching vocabulary, grammar, playing, singing...
- English as a vehicular language to learn other subjects: teaching Physical Education, Music, Science, Reading and Writing, Maths and Literature through English.
Both ways are very interesting but I have seen that the ones that learn through English have a better command of English. And if they start when they are very young, even better!

As a teacher, I have always encouraged parents and other teachers to expose their children to English as much as possible. This is what I want to do as well, and 'as much as possible' in my case, means, all the time.

Moreover, I was born in a monolingual family and since I was born I learnt a single language, Spanish. I started learning English at school and in particular classes after school. I had to learn English from scratch, which means that I had to invest a lot of time and effort to learn this second language properly. To be more precise, to have a good command of English, I started classes after school when I was eight years old and didn't stop till I was sixteen. My summer camps were always in English,  I have needed to work to pay some English courses abroad during summer. I have also met many people to exchange Spanish conversation for English,  I have read many books in English, listenned to music, watched movies, series... 

I have done many other things too, just to learn English. And I am very happy for every single thing that I have done, but what if my son learns English from me without even noticing it and he can invest his effort and time in learning a third language or in playing an instrument, or practicing a sport...
I have the opportunity to provide my son with empty afternoons, empty summers, empty weekends... and he will be able to fill them with many other languages or activities.

Additionally, I have always seen bilingual couples with a healthy envy as I knew that they would have the opportunity to raise their kids in a bilingual environment and do this in a very natural way. 
I met my husband twelve years ago and as we were knowing each other and the time was passing by, we knew that we were going to end up together and eventually have a family. When you know he or she is the one, there is nothing else you can do, love is like that!
But why being a monolingual couple should cut off at the roots my idea of having a bilingual child? If we are fluent in other languages... why would I take away from my son this great opportunity? 

Furthermore, it has been a long time that having a good command of English is important, and nowadays it is getting crucial. Lots of doors are opened in the personal field, in jobs, in traveling...if why can speak in English fluently.

Finally, many studies have shown that learning many languages enhances certain brain connections and that is another important reason to raise my child bilingual.

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