The Many Ways to Be Bilingual, with Christa Jimenez (TGMS 32)

Today on the show, I talk with Christa Jimenez about the commitment she’s made to raise her children to be bilingual. She is living in the US, but she is doing a lot of things to keep her two girls connected with their heritage, since her husband is from Costa Rica. Christa is the founder of the blog Pura Vida Moms. She’s a former Spanish teacher, and she’s also the host of an online vlog called BilingualWe. She and I talk about some of the common methods of teaching children another language and how even learning a few phrases can transform a child’s brain.

Links mentioned on the show:

Spanglish Baby

Three methods of language learning:

  1. Minority Language at Home
  2. One-parent, One-language
  3. Situational, contextual

Great quotes from the show:

“Mothering is its own language.”

“Bilingualism is a spectrum. It can look like different things.”

“As soon as kids start hearing a second language…their brain is re-wired in a different way.”

“As far as bilingualism…nothing is too little.”

I hope you gleaned some ideas from this that will inspire you to at least attempt to get some second language exposure in the life of your child. If you want to listen to another episode about language learning and raising bilingual kids, check out episode 26, Bringing Up a Bilingual Child with Rita Rosenback.

Find Christa:

Website Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |BilingualWe

Find Mary Grace:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

We would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below, or find us on social media.

FEATURED RESOURCE: This is for you moms who may be living away from your home country or who have lived overseas in the past and are seeking ways to build community and gain knowledge about some of the issues affecting families who are expats, missionaries, diplomats, service workers and so on. The resource is the Families in Global Transition Conference, which is happening this week in the Netherlands. You can go on the website and follow them on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #FIGT17NL to hear about everything that is going on at the conference this week. You can also look up all the presenters and speakers and get an idea of some of the issues they are talking about. The theme is Building on the Basics: Creating Your Tribe on the Move, and the keynote speaker is Naomi Hattaway, who runs the I am a Triangle platform, and she is going to be on the show in a couple of weeks.

SPONSOR: The Global Mom Show is supported by fans and listeners who want to keep the conversation going. If you would like to support the show, one of the easiest ways is by doing your regular shopping on Amazon using The Global Mom Show’s link. Just go to whenever you shop, and you won’t be charged anything extra, but the show will get a tiny commission for every purchase. If you want to find out more ways to support the show, go here and you’ll find a variety of simple ways you can support they show—without it costing you anything.

SPECIAL THIS WEEK: Have you seen Tea Collection’s cute, fun, well-made, globally-inspired clothes? We have a few of these items in my boys’ closet, and they always wear well and look great. They are offering a special sale from March 21-March 25th!  Use code KOALALOVE receive 15% off any 3 items, 20% off any 4 items, or 25% off any 5 or more items when purchased together. Offer available online only and valid through 3/26/17 at 11:59 PM PT Purchase here: Tea Collection
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Thanks for listening today, Have a great week, and remember, you can live a global life wherever you are, and teach your kids to do the same.



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Mary Grace Otis
Mary Grace is a wife, a mom of three boys, a former expat and development worker, and a freelance writer for nonprofits and businesses. She's lived in Germany and India, and traveled lots of places besides that, but she currently makes her home in the U.S., where one of her goals is to stay connected with a global view of life. She's the host of The Global Mom Show Podcast and the founder of The Global Mom website.

2 Responses to “The Many Ways to Be Bilingual, with Christa Jimenez (TGMS 32)

  • I found this episode extremely encouraging. I’m monolingual but deeply wish I could speak two or three languages. I want to introduce my two year old to Spanish. Christa suggested that even just saying “hello how are you” each morning could help. What does that practically look like in Spanish and German? I know translation apps aren’t always accurate so I would love some examples from fluent speakers like you! Thanks in advance. I appreciate you site and podcast!

    • Thanks, Lisa! I’m glad you enjoyed the episode. Here is a post I wrote about resources for kids to learn German, and in that post there is a link to multiple other pages with language resources for all sorts of languages!
      There are quite a few apps that are decent, and you can also simply pick up a basic Spanish dictionary or phrase book at the book store or library. Having one of those handy around the house can help you be able to pick out some basic words and phrases without having to log in to anything electronic. I hope that post helps! And sign up for the newsletter if you’d like more resources. Thanks!

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