Episode 39: Achieving a family’s language goals by listening to mom’s advice with Joyce Giraud

Achieving a family's bilingual journey by listening to mom's advice with Joyce Giraud 

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview actress, producer, philanthropist and mother, Joyce Giraud.  She shares with us her family’s bilingual journey and how her mother’s advice to be patient and persevere gave her the motivation to stay committed to her sons’ language learning.

Episode #39 Quick Guide

On this episode, Joyce discusses with us:

  • Her bilingual upbringing and how both of her parents influenced her journey;
  • How her mother encouraged her to watch TV to learn English;
  • German as her family’s second heritage language;
  • How languages have helped her career in the entertainment business;
  • How her commitment to bilingualism started early on;
  • How her family applied the One Parent, One Language where Joyce speaks exclusively to her sons in Spanish;
  • How frustrated she felt when her son turned two and had not yet began to communicate in Spanish,
  • Her mother’s advice to continue to be persistent;
  • Her youngest son’s first words in Spanish;
  • How her oldest son surprised her with his Spanish skills by speaking full sentences when she least expected it;
  • How she is working to also introduce German to her children;
  • The value her mother always had for their family’s Puerto Rican roots and culture and the impact it had on Joyce;
  • Her biggest obstacle has been to learn to be patient and not give up on her children’s language journey;
  • How she is using a program called, Dino Lingo, to enhance her son’s German skills;
  • How she leverages play dates to infuse language exposure;
  • How her children have internalized languages so well and assume that others are bilingual as well;
  • How proud she is to see her children effortlessly switch between languages when communicating to others around them;
  • The role her extended family has played in supporting the language needs of her children;

Once we hop on the Autobahn at Bilingual Avenue, Joyce shares –

  • Best advice received: It came from mom: never give up, persevere and keep trying to teach your children the language even if you think you are not getting results;
  • Favorite resources: Reading books specifically Dora and Diego and the Bible (including psalm 23);
  • Great family habit: Reading at least one book a day and praying in Spanish every night;
  • What has held her back: The switch between communicating in English with her husband and Spanish to her sons (especially when they were not yet communicating in Spanish);
  • Best Advice to others: Be proud of your culture and share that culture with your children through language.

    She also goes on to share how her husband surprised her three months into their relationship with his Spanish skills!

Summary of resources Joyce shared on the show –

Dino Lingo


If you found this episode useful, head on over to iTunes and kindly leave us a rating, a review and subscribe!

Ways to subscribe to Bilingual Avenue!



Leave a Reply