Episode 59: The importance of keeping older children engaged in their heritage language with Jeannette Kaplun

Episode 59

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, Jeannette Kaplun, an award-winning bilingual journalist and TV personality.  Jeannete shares with us her personal language journey with her children and focuses specifically on the challenges parent face as their children get older.  She shares how she is able to engage her children on their language journey by finding ways to say connected to their heritage language.   Jeannette is the founder of HispanaGlobal, a bilingual platform for Hispanic women.  She was born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Chile.

Episode #59 Quick Guide

On this episode, Jeannette discusses with us:

  • Her bilingual upbringing and how her parents helped her maintain both of her languages;
  • How the family language policy shifted once they moved from the US to Chile;
  • How languages have played a positive role in her career;
  • How the constructive personal experiences she has had with languages serve as motivation when raising her two bilingual children;
  • The commitment she made with her husband to speak exclusively in Spanish in the home;
  • The hurdles she has faced from time to time to stay patient and consistent on the language journey;
  • Her advice to parents to work together with your partner and keep a united front for many parenting aspects;
  • How difficult it has been to keep it fun for her children to speak Spanish now that they are older;
  • How she has leveraged things like music, culture, cooking recipes to keep engaging her children;
  • How challenging it can be to find age appropriate books in Spanish for her children;
  • How she manages reading and writing with her kids;
  • A really funny anecdote that happened with her son when he was only a year and half;
  • How proud she felt when her son stepped up at a family event and in perfect Spanish shared some really kind words for his grandfather;
  • Positive parenting, what it is about and how it has played out in her family;
  • Her appreciation for the book Bilingual is Better and her experience writing the foreword.

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

  • Favorite resources: Music because it makes it fun and provides an opportunity to discuss lyrics so it does not feel like language learning is a chore;
  • Best advice received: Be consistent;
  • What has held her back:  Keeping her older children stay connected to the language;
  • Great family habits: Fostering routines as a family in the target language and reading magazines in Spanish;
  • Favorite Books: El Principito;
  • Best Advice to others: No matter how tired or how difficult the language journey gets, it is worth it to stay committed to raising multilingual children.

Additional links – 

 Jeannette’s Instagram Account:  https://instagram.com/jeannettekaplun/

Mark Anthony Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/a/anthony.html


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