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Episode #97 Quick Guide
On this episode, Maritere discusses with us:
On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Maritere Rodriguez Bellas. Maritere is a bilingual and bicultural, free-lance writer, blogger and author. She just recently wrote her first book, Raising Bilingual Children and has a second book about to be released soon called Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie: Raising Bicultural Children. She is now working on her third!
Maritere was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Her husband grew up in Ohio and is 100% Greek. She is the mother of two children, a boy and a girl, and she lives in Southern California.
Maritere discusses with us:
- Her background with languages which started with her own schooling experience;
- Her studies in Switzerland which included French, English and Italian as well as her Bachelors in Languages;
- Her experience raising multilingual children with limited information on how to go about it;
- How her children are doing now that they are grown managing their two languages, English and Spanish;
- How she wishes she could have had more bilingual families around her when her children were young;
- How she created a proposal to bring a Spanish curriculum to her local school and how it took eight years to bring it to fruition;
- How the research around bilingualism and the impact it has on the brain has helped to support the movement to bring more languages to our schools;
- What led her to write a book for multilingual families based on her own experiences raising multilingual and multicultural;
- The families she met raising multilingual children and the commitment and devotion they exhibited;
- The common thread she found in families that meet their multilingual goals is “Commitment!”
- The recommendations for multilingual families who still have children at home:
- If you are applying the OPOL strategy, stay committed and do not switch the language you are speaking to your child;
- Pick specific days of the week to read in each of your home languages;
- Take turns reading bilingual books;
- Set “cooking days” for each of your languages where children can participate by reading the recipes;
- Her thoughts on language programs at schools;
- How well students receiving a majority of their education in a target language are performing in standardized testing in the United States;
- The common mistakes some parents make when they stop speaking their heritage language at home because they believe it will help them learn the community language faster;
- Her recommendations for families who are not able to travel to a region that speaks their target language;
- How she is looking forward to participating in her grandkids language journey;
- An anecdote from one of the families she interviewed as part of her book’s research.
- Her advice to be the best parent you can be and do not be too hard on yourself.
To be entered for the giveaway of Maritere’s book, just join the Bilingual Avenue Newsletter at bilingualavenue.com/newsletter You have until December 31st to enter to win!
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