By: Anvee Bhutani
In the 21st century, a difficult reality has become that many teens pull away from their first language if it's not English and aren't interested in maintaining and learning the language of their parents. With this in mind, many people often ask me how I am able to embrace and promote knowing multiple languages and cultures. I think personally I have been able to maintain my language because of the strong connection to my culture and my parents that I have always had. Since I was little, I was constantly spoken to in Hindi by my parents and grandparents, and this causes me to this day to associate Hindi with my feelings of home and comfort. Because I was so connected with my culture and the Indian community in the Bay Area, Hindi stuck with me throughout my childhood. However, when I was younger, I, like many other children, would feel embarrassed when my parents would speak Hindi with me in front of other people, as in America, diversity and individuality of cultures are often not embraced due to the homogeneity. However, I quickly learned that the ability to communicate in a second language is extremely valuable and arguably vital. I embrace different languages and cultures because I believe they give you a window into a different person’s worldview and life.
By: Ishaan Nandwani
For those of you not able to make it to a presentation, here are some fast facts about bilingualism!
By: Ishaan Nandwani
Parents often ask us about how to continue language learning outside of our eight-week programs, or what to do if they are unable to attend our programs. While we recommend attending our classes to establish a foundation in whichever language your child chooses to learn, I've compiled a list of resources that will certainly help your child embark on his or her step to fluency.
1) Conjugation Nation (Spanish, French): This is one of my favorite apps for practicing conjugating verb tenses, and the more you drill exercises, the quicker learning these tenses will become second nature (this is a great resource to use during our classes, too).
2) Yabla (Spanish, French): Yabla is an excellent website for practicing listening skills! It shows videos of native speakers in various environments and helps you better understand what these individuals are saying and their accents, which is tricky to get unless in the real world.
3) T.V. Shows, Music (Spanish, Hindi, French): It's absolutely true that increased exposure to a language improves both speaking and listening. Whether it's creating a playlist of Spanish songs to listen to in the car, or setting aside time to watch a T.V. show in Hindi each week, this is a vital step towards gaining proficiency. It will be a hard at first, and I recommend English subtitles to get started, and eventually removing them after having some practice. (The more you take advantage of this last step, the quicker you will embark on your journey towards fluency).