Multilingualism in my family (Becky's story)

21 Dec 2012

Today is a new instalment of my Multilingualism in my family series. Meet Becky and her 4 children.  Becky lives in the US with her family and runs the brilliant Kid world Citizen website. They have decided to use the minority language at home to balance out for her husband's long working hours.

Ambernectar13 via Flickr

1. Name

Becky Morales

2. Blog

3. In what country do you currently live?


4. How many children have you got and how old are they?

4 kids: Toñito is 8, Viviana is 7, Maya is 5, and Ricky is 5

5. Who speaks what to whom (in the home)?

The kids speak English to each other and Spanish and English to me, and Spanish to their dad

6. What language do your children hear outside home?

English at school and with my family, Spanish with some family friends and my husband's family

7. If you had to put percentages on the languages your child(ren) hear what would they be?

Unfortunately they are at school all day, so only Spanish for a couple of hours in the evening.

8. Did you set out to follow a particular method to raise your child(ren) multilingually? Why? Why not?

We TRY to do Minority Language in the Home. OPOL wouldn't work for us because my husband works long hours and it wouldn't be enough Spanish.

9. What works with your current family language set up? Why?

Playing games in Spanish, cooking in Spanish, playing restaurant in Spanish, watching movies and reading books in Spanish, having parties/playdates with Spanish-speaking families- because the kids think it is FUN. I also think it's great for them to hear peers speaking Spanish, instead of just their parents and older relatives.

10. What doesn’t work? Why?

When I constantly am reminding them "español" it's forced and not natural.

11. What would you do differently if you could or would have to do it again?

I wish they could have gone to a Spanish-speaking preschool to get more of a foundation- now that they are in school (always has been monolingual) they are spending more and more time in English:(.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Becky, and well done on all your efforts. I'm sure your kids will be very grateful when they are adult bilinguals.

  2. Thanks Talullah! We're definitely learning as we go along. We need to work on having the kids SPEAK more Spanish!:)


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