Episode 43: Learning the Language of a Mother with Audrey Kratovil

Episode 43

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Audrey Kratovil! Audrey is originally from the Washington, DC area where she grew up in a monolingual English-speaking home. She started studying Spanish as a second language in school at the age of 12 and has since embarked on an amazing language journey.  You can find learn all about her bilingual parenting with her daughter on her blog Espanolita…Sobre la Marcha!

Episode #43 Quick Guide

 On this episode, Audrey discusses with us:

  • Her monolingual upbringing and how she fell in love with Spanish at the age of 12;
  • Her educational and professional background with Spanish and Language Acquisition;
  • How she manages languages at home specifically applying the Minority Language at Home strategy with her Spanish husband;
  • How Spanish and English are a reflection of her family’s heritage and culture making it important for her to pass it on to her daughter;
  • The reality that the number of Spanish speakers is on the rise in the US and therefore it is important that her daughter has the language skills to help her succeed in the future;
  • A couple of characteristics that has marked her language learning experience including motivation, persistence, and discipline;
  • The challenges she has faced raising her daughter in a second language and how she has had to be intentional about learning words that a mother would naturally speak to her child;
  • How she spent part of a vacation in Spain purchasing books and resources to learn the vocabulary of a mother;
  • Her philosophy to take it one day at a time;
  • Her family’s overall positive reception to her decision to speak exclusively in Spanish to her daughter;
  • How she has managed to turn some concerns that others have had about her family’s language decisions into teaching moments about bilingualism;
  • A funny cultural anecdote with her husband’s Spanish family which gave her the inspiration for her blog’s title;
  • The importance of staying positive and humorous on the language journey;
  • How intentional she has been with her husband to discuss and set family goals;
  • How she has leveraged her blog espanolitablog.com to journal and record her language adventures with her family;
  • How she is looking forward to hearing her daughter’s first words since she is on the verge of speaking!

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

  • Favorite resources: 1) Using friends and family in Spain to help her obtain resources in Spanish and 2) the podcast Baby Radio;
  • Best advice receivedKeep the big picture in mind but take it one day at time;
  • Great family habits: Make reading aloud a daily practice, FaceTiming with family members in Spain and seeking out Spanish speakers in her city;
  • Favorite Books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle;
  • Best Advice to others: Find a network of support to help you on your language journey.  It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help bur rather of strength.

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