Losing my Spanish feels like losing part of myself

Losing my Spanish feels like losing part of myself

Spanish was my first language. It was the only language I knew until I was 5 and began school in the U.S.

At first, going to school felt scary because I didn’t speak English. I would cry, and explain as best I could that I had a stomachache and needed to go to the nurse. Then I’d tell the nurse I needed to go home.

Now, it’s hard to imagine struggling with English because English feels much more natural to me than the language in which I spoke my first words back in the Dominican Republic. At 17, I write, think, and even dream in English.

But my mom never really learned English. For most of my life, I’ve translated government documents into Spanish for her. I’ve translated school forms, parent-teacher conferences, text messages, emails, and songs on the radio.

About a year ago, my mom, a home health aide, called me from work. She works mostly with Spanish speakers, but her new patient spoke only English. The woman wanted a certain kind of bread from the supermarket and had lost patience trying to communicate that to my mom.

People have so little patience for those who speak minimal English. They ask, judgment in their voice, “How could you live in the United States for so long and still not know English?” They assume that after 12 years here, she’s lazy or just doesn’t want to learn the language.

Be sure to read the full article here: https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2023/1/27/23563439/spanish-english-bilingual-language-attrition


CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education.
For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train:

TEACHERS: General and Special Ed Masters (Early Childhood or Childhood), Adolescent Special Ed / Professional Certification Masters, TESOL MastersSpecial Ed license extension courses, Bilingual license extension coursesTESOL license extension courses, Early Childhood license extension courses

COUNSELORSSchool Counseling MastersMental Health Counseling MastersAdvanced Certificate in Mental Health or School Counseling

ADMINISTRATORSSchool Building LeadershipSchool District LeadershipDoctorate for CSA members, Doctorate for non-CSA membersPublic Administration Master’s

— in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk.

CITE PD: CITE offers CTLE-approved in-school or online professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. We can work remotely with your staff and parents. Info: citepd.com