This year, we are committed to teaching the boys Spanish. This is not so that they can work for a translation company. Lee is Cuban and Spanish is her first language. With our daughter, we made it a point to make Spanish her first language but with the boys we kind of dropped the ball. It may have been because we lived in Miami and everyone spoke Spanish. It was easier to assume that the kids would simply pick up a second language via osmosis. Now that we have moved to California, up in the mountains, we do not have this language support.
Our technique now is to spend an hour or two every day reading and learning Spanish. The boys are 6 and 9 so we can use kid’s books that they know but have been translated into Spanish. Throughout the day, we speak Spanish to them. This is also added to the math worksheets that they do and the reading time.
I equate speaking a second language with intelligence. In Europe, most people have a couple of languages under their belts. It is one of the downfalls of American society that we do not see the benefit, the intellectual power, that comes with a speaking multiple languages. Hopefully we are teaching our children how to communicate with the world.