Posts Tagged ‘identity issues’

Language and belonging

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Recently, I was telling another mom at Mateo’s preschool about some of the valuable lessons we learned at Heritage Camp, especially about incorporating elements of our children’s Guatemalan culture into our daily lives. One of the most important ways my husband and I can do this is by helping our children to learn Spanish and to learn Spanish ourselves. When I fostered Olivia in Antigua in 2003, I studied Spanish. This fall I’ve enrolled in a class to refresh what I learned. Olivia herself will begin Spanish in the upcoming school year. We’re lucky because in our California district, children take Spanish from Grade 3.

The mom at Mateo’s preschool, “Ms. G,” agreed that speaking the language is an important way to stay connected to a culture, but, she quickly added, speaking the language doesn’t mean you necessarily “belong” to the culture. She used her own life story to illustrate. (more…)