How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Trying to raise bilingual kids? How to stay on track when English is easiest

Photo by Nada_que_decir/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Surrounding yourself (and your child) with books in your native language can help

Parents who are trying to raise bilingual children might be familiar with SpanglishBaby, a website dedicated to that goal.

And let's face it, for those of us who have lived in the United States all or most of our lives, it can seem like an elusive goal at times. As fluent as we may be in the language of our parents, it's easiest to fall back on English. More so if our partner is a monolingual English speaker, or someone who grew up speaking a language different from ours.

At the same time, research has shown how much a child can gain from speaking a second language. Aside from the obvious - communicating with grandparents, future job prospects - being bilingual can boost brain development and provide benefits for life.

What to do? Roxana Soto, co-founder and editorial director of SpanglishBaby, is here to help with a few tips for overcoming the temptation to give up. More tips from SpanglishBaby will be included in a forthcoming book due out in fall 2012.

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Among 'psycho-emotional' effects of immigration on kids: Communication breakdown

Photo by TruShu/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The immigrant advocacy blog Project Economic Refugee has featured a much-tweeted Q&A with Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, the author of a new book titled Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families.

The interview covers the "psycho-emotional impacts of immigration" on the children in immigrant families, touching on issues that range from family separation after immigration raids to spirituality. One issue that's not so widely discussed stood out, however, and that's family communication.

Frazier discusses the odd role reversal that takes place when children become interpreters for adult family members, and the incomplete communication between parents and children that begins to occur as children learn English, while the native language of the parents is still spoken at home. The piece features this excerpt from the book:

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