Bilinigual Babies

SJ has definitely come to comprehend both English and Spanish. As we desperately search for a day care center for her September admittance we discussed a center in which Spanish was spoken or taught. On my Facebook feed today I read a NY Times article that highlighted questions I've had about teaching our girls to be bilingual from birth. Check out the highlights. The originial article is here.

Over the past decade, Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, has shown that bilingual children develop crucial skills in addition to their double vocabularies, learning different ways to solve logic problems or to handle multitasking, skills that are often considered part of the brain’s so-called executive function.

These higher-level cognitive abilities are localized to the frontal and prefrontal cortex in the brain. “Overwhelmingly, children who are bilingual from early on have precocious development of executive function,” Dr. Bialystok said.

Dr. Kuhl calls bilingual babies “more cognitively flexible” than monolingual infants.

SJ has chosen to speak primarly in English, considering she has been exposed to both English and Spanish equally, I often wonder if its because I speak English.


Check out this TED video presented by Patricia Kuhl titled, The linguistic genius of babies. 


Lil D is 18 months!

Lil D is officially a toddler, she is 18 months old. She has developed many fine and gross motor skills that have me impressed with each new development. Her cognitive development is superior for a little one learning two languages. The only area of concern for me is her language development. I have looked at the research on raising bilingual kids and of course there are opposing schools of thought. One side states kids can take whatever you throw at them.

While the other is against introducing a second language right away. In my case it's too late to stop the train. Lil D has been submerged in Spanish and English from birth. Her primary language has been Spanish, because I am really the only person who speaks to her in English. Cognitively she understands and responses to both, but she is unwilling to mimic or speak words that are recognizable to us. She clearly says "eat", "yay", and "no".

She is very vocal, speaking her own language. Her babbling sounds mostly Spanish with a sprinkling of English. She uses her hands to express herself a lot. I will post a conversation we had about a month ago below and you'll see what I mean.

Latest Developments

  • Can position herself to sit on a stool, small chair, or step.
  • Runs everywhere, very little walking.
  • Developing the skills to walk down stairs holding onto rail.
  • Uses a spoon to feed herself. Can drink out of a cup unassisted.
  • Imitates scribbling
  • Shows affection
  • Listens to a story or looks at pictures
  • Identifies one or more parts of the body {her nose, eyes, feet}
  • Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects {ball, cup, chair, doll, shoe}
  • Is able to take off some clothing items {socks, diaper!!, pants}
  • Rebellious at bedtime.
  • Hates her car seat, high chair, and stroller -- does not want to be confined to one space
  • Shows signs of receptive language skills (i.e., understands when spoken to}
  • Points to show what she wants

 Lil D and our new neighbor, Lil Shelby

 Getting a little hang time!! Finally.

Lil D in her Jordache Skinny Jeans