The Importance of Multilingualism and Travel in Our Familia
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ Augustinus
Therefore, my mother who lives in Puerto Rico, and I made an agreement to visit each other every year. Meaning one year she’d travel to the U.S.A., the other year we’d travel to Puerto Rico. Traveling was our way of preserving the family ties, as well as keeping the culture and language alive especially for our child. During Abuela’s visits she’d speak to our child in Spanish, and when we traveled to Puerto Rico he would be directly exposed to the target language because all of the familia would speak in Spanish. Though, I do admit there have been times where my family has spoken to our son in English, instead of Spanish. I am to blame since I started our son’s language immersion a little later on. You can read about my initial struggle here, and about his milestones, and my regrets here.
Nevertheless, I’m thankful for la familia’s (Abuela, titi, tío, & primos) frequent travels to the U.S.A. La familia extendida and our baby’s travels have given him some exposure to his target language.
|First trip ever by plane! November 2008|
By car on family road trips (too many times to list the dates): Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, and within our state of South Carolina.
This summer we’re truly looking forward to an overdue visit to Puerto Rico (it’s been 2 1/2 years since our last visit). This trip will be different from any other, because this time our son will be fully engaged in a two week full Spanish immersion trip. He will be able to express himself in a language that until the other day I thought he would never learn. The language he has come to love, enjoy and speak: Spanish!
Although our son is too young to remember his many travels or the places that he’s visited, these memories have already been ingrained in his little mind. The language exposure no matter how much or how little will be forever present.