Hola, I’m Vero. I’m a Harvard-trained doctora of education with several years of experience in creating meaningful learning environments for children. I’m also a heritage Spanish speaker, raising trilingual children. When I became a mother four years ago, I knew that I wanted to raise my Mexican-American-Danish son to feel connected to all parts of his rich heritage through language and customs.
I grew up with Spanish in my home, but I was far from fluent. I wasn’t sure that I would be successful at passing along a language that I didn’t speak fluently, but I felt such a strong connection to the Spanish language and Mexican culture that I naively moved forward with my plans. It was hard, but I persisted and leveraged all of my knowledge about early childhood development, learning science, and curriculum design to create a multilingual and multicultural home for my son.
Four years later, I successfully raised a son who speaks two languages fluently (Danish and Spanish) and is emerging in a third (English). I’m also finally a more confident and fluent Spanish speaker!
When I started my journey, I spent many days, nights, and weekends looking for the following resources:
- Research-based frameworks and strategies for raising multicultural and multilingual children.
- Turn-key activities that support in-home Spanish language development, social-emotional development, and STEAM learning for young children.
- Spanish language books and resources that support developmentally appropriate discussions about race, gender, ability, language, difference, and social justice.
- Guidance on developmental milestones for multilingual children.
- Spanish language resources, programs, and supports to help me build and strengthen my Spanish for parenting.
- A community of like-minded parents on a similar journey.
- Someone who could cheer me on, give honest feedback, and expert advice on my multilingual and multicultural parenting journey.
Nothing existed that would support me in my multilingual and multicultural parenting journey as a heritage language speaker, so I used my kids’ sleeping hours to build my own learning resources for my children. Looking back on four years of content and a thriving multilingual family, I decided to share my work with the world with the hopes of inspiring and supporting others in their parenting and teaching journeys. You can find all of the resources above and more at The Language Preservation Project.
Do you have a similar story with your heritage language? What was your experience learning/not learning your heritage language as a child? Are you trying to raise your child in your heritage language? What has been your experience? Share your experiences in the comments section. I look forward to connecting with you all!