Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Inside: Thing bilingual moms do.

 

Mothering is interesting. So full of sweet moments!.. and also full of moments in which we would clearly choose teleportation of the entire family as our superpower. 

Sometimes I think my kids save up those “special moments” for the grocery store, the playground, or the dinner table at somebody else’s house. We react and handle things as best we can, hoping it’s the right thing to do. 

And sometimes, multilingualism saves the day. What can I say? Being bilingual– especially when you live in a fairly monolingual place– does give us some extra options. 

You can’t assume who speaks what around you, but it’s confession time. Here are five things I’ve actually done as a bilingual mom. Dads probably do them too. 

 

 

1. Make dire threats in the minority language.

Angry Comedy GIF by Bounce_TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

via GIPHY

Er… I mean, redirect. Some moms have to rely on that look; we can straight up say what we need to say in that grocery store line. 

 

2. Bribe our children in the minority language.

via GIPHY

Bribery is universally frowned upon in the parenting world, even though I’m pretty sure everybody does it. The good thing is we can get away with it.  Everybody around thinks we just repeated ourselves in a firm voice, and it magically worked. I’ll take it!

 

3. Redirect our kids in the majority language (for the benefit of other nearby parents). 

via GIPHY

Here’s a time to break out of the minority language: when your kids clearly need redirection, and you need all the other parents around to know you’re on it.

“Honey, let that little girl have a turn too,” exchange a smile with the mom across the playground, and you’re good to go.

 

4. Breathe a sigh of relief when our children say something rude(after realizing nobody understood it).

via GIPHY

Children say what they think: it’s a fact of life. It can also be horribly embarrassing. When my son once remarked that a nearby man looked like a wolf, I just prayed that the gentleman was monolingual and took the chance to quietly explain why he has to be careful saying things like that. The fact that is was said in English (and hopefully not understood) helped me play it cool and make the most of that teachable moment. 

 

5. Translate the positive…

via GIPHY

My three-year-old speaks whatever language she wants, in the moment. Did she just say something polite and adorable? Well, allow me to translate that for you. 

 

…and lie about the negative. 

via GIPHY

OH MY GOSH you CANNOT say that out loud.”
He loves it. Thank you sooo much.”
Don’t judge me but yes, yes, yes I’ve done this one.

 

6. Say sappy things to our kids without embarrassing them.

via GIPHY

Kids too embarrassed to show affection in front of their friends? No problem if they’re bilingual. You can sneak in all the mushy-gushy things you want as you drop them off at school. And maybe you’ll get that “love you mom” back, even when they’re “too old” to say it. 

 

via GIPHY

 

love being a Spanglish family. Of course, Spanish and English are widely spoken languages, and I should probably get going on a third, more obscure language, if I want to use of these “strategies” more effectively. #goals

 

Like it? Pin it!

Things Bilingual Moms Do

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Inside: Spanglish movies and series on Netflix. 

 

In the U.S., languages other than English have a way of dying. By the second or third generation, Italians and Swedes had generally lost their native speech, but some speculate Spanish may prove to be the an exception

Spanglish could be seen as a slippery slope of mixed language, such that heritage speakers lose their Spanish. If that’s all kids hear, it’s certainly a possibility. But for my part, I love the influx of Spanglish into American media and pop culture. Spanglish is my life. A third pure English, a third pure Spanish, and a third Spanglish. 

So when Netflix start airing shows with Spanglish families like mine, I watch. I like seeing my world on screen and I think it says to my kids: Spanish is something to celebrate. Multilingualism is a great thing. 

And also… some of you are in Spanglish relationships. You may love Spanish-language shows, but perhaps your partner isn’t so excited about reading subtitles for the next month. Here’s your compromise!

 

Spanglish Movies and Shows

 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update! This is a mix of family-friendly series and not-so-family-friendly, so please be sure to click on the title and check ratings. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. Jane the Virgin 

 

Three generations of Latinas living under one roof star in this amazing Spanglish show. Jane’s world is forever turned upside down when she’s accidentally inseminated by her gynecologist. What ensues is a mostly light-hearted (but often poignant) story of how different generations, cultures, and genders come around Jane’s new life and baby. Anyone who has watched telenovelas will appreciate the purposely humorous and dramatic references throughout the show. 

 

 

2. Un Día a la vez (One Day at a Time) 

 

It’s hard not to love this show! Again, here we have three generations under one roof, this time a Cuban-American family, working out life, culture, and family together. This is truly a Spanglish show, with dialogue going back and forth between languages as different generations communicate. This is a family-friendly show (TV-PG) you might be able to watch with your older kids. 

(One thing I love is that several characters try to learn more Spanish, and are shown making an effort to keep up with their heritage or new language.)

 

 

3. Narcos

 

Completely switching genres, Narcos follows the pursuit of Pablo Escobar and other drug lords in Colombia. Unlike several previous shows, this one is told entirely from the American perspective. Gritty and suspenseful, Narcos is one of those series that pulls you in and is hard to turn off. 

 

 

4. Casa de Mi Padre

 

Ok, Casa de Mi Padre is technically all in Spanish, but since Will Ferrell isn’t a native speaker I’m claiming it as Spanglish material. Playing on every telenovela stereotype out there, this one will be funniest for those who are familiar with both U.S. and Latino culture and humor.

How to know if you’ll like it? Well, if you like both Will Ferrell and Gael García Bernal… this one’s for you. 

 

 

5. Entre Nos

 

Based on a true story, a Colombian mother travels New York with her two children, only to be abandoned by her husband once there. She must improvise and find a way to survive on her own, by collecting cans in the city trash.

 

 

6. Ladrones

 

When a wealthy woman steals land from a group of hard-working Texan families, they seek help from a legendary Robin Hood pair in Mexico to steal the title back. A funny, action-packed movie not meant to be taken too seriously. Watch when you’re in the mood to watch the good guys triumph and the bad guys get what they deserve. 

 

 

What other Spanglish series and movies can I add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Like it? Pin it!

Spanglish shows on Netflix

 

 

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

 Inside: The best Netflix Spain movies. 

 

Netflix, with its ever-expanding range of options, has a growing selection of made-in Spain movies and shows. I’ve got some great titles for you here, whether you’re a native speaker or looking to keep up your Spanish skills. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

 

NETFLIX SPAIN MOVIES

 

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

1. Contratiempo (Invisible Guest)

 

A wealthy businessman is accused of murder and seeks the help of a famous lawyer to mount a defense as the last hours of his trial wind down. His storytelling of those events takes us down a darkening path of twists and turns, and unexpected revelations. I multitasked quite a bit while preparing this blog post and watched movies, but this movie had my full attention, and me on the edge of my seat. If you like suspense, this is a must-watch with incredible acting.

Info: Mystery, Thriller | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

2. Perdiendo el Norte (Off Course)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who can’t find a job in Spain (despite being over-qualified on paper). Fed up with Spanish life, they move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up in a café. Life in Berlin comes with new romance, but also a host of cultural differences to navigate.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015

 

 

3. Fe de Etarras (Bomb Scared)

 

Four Basque terrorists are trying to plan an attack on Spain. They wait for orders from “above,” in a Spanish apartment, and have to deal with everyday life and neighbors while unsure of the future. A dark comedy that was surprisingly compelling and funny. 

Info:  Comedy  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2017

 

 

4. Spanish Affair (Ocho Apellidos)

 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. I didn’t love the chemistry between the main actors, but still enjoyable and cute. 

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014

 

 

5. Spanish Affair 2 (Ocho Apellidos Catalanes)

 

The couple we met in the Spanish Affair (Rafa and Amaia) have broken up. Amaia is engaged to a Catalonian her father doesn’t like, so he enlists help from Rafa to win her back and break off the new engagement. I enjoyed this one more than the first and found it more convincing, especially the storylines between the supporting characters. If you like the Spanish Affair, definitely follow up with this one.

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2015

 

 

6. 100 Metros (100 Meters)

 

Based on a true story about a man with a young family who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Determined to resist the disease as long as he can, he commits to training for an Ironman– with the help of his father-in-law, who has troubles of his own. I sobbed by the end; keep tissues nearby for this heart-wrenching and inspiring story.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish |  2016

 

 

 

7. La reina de España (The Queen of Spain) 

 

It’s 1956, and an American film company is making a movie about Isabel and Ferdinand, at the request of Franco– and Macarena Granada, now a big name in Hollywood, returns to her native Spain after 20 years to star in it. I found it slow and forced overall, but there’s a deep undercurrent of complicated Spanish history and a cast of actors that many viewers will enjoy nonetheless. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio  |  2016

 

 

8. A Cambio de Nada (Nothing in Return)

 

A coming-of-age story about a troubled teenager figuring out life and getting into trouble with his best friend. Poignant at times, tough at others, A Cambio de Nada explores adolescence in the context of trouble at school, trouble at home, and finding friendship.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

9. Ahora o Nunca (It’s Now or Never)

 

A couple who got together in a fairytale high school romance is getting married. The week of the wedding turns nightmare as everything goes wrong, quirky friends and family in tow. 

Info: Comedy |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2015

 

 

10. Nuestros Amantes (Our Lovers)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016

 

 

11. 7 Años (7 Years)

 

Four friends are in business together, and have committed tax fraud. If one of them volunteers to go to jail for seven years, the company came remain intact and the other friends can walk free. The question is which one? They hire a consultant to help decide who it should be. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2016

 

 

12. Palmeras en la Nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015

 

 

 

 

What other Netflix Spain movies do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Like it? Pin it!

Netflix Spain movies

How to Change Netflix Language Settings in 3 Easy Steps

How to Change Netflix Language Settings in 3 Easy Steps

Inside: How to change Netflix language (audio and subtitles). 

 

As Spanglish newlyweds, my husband and I loved to watch movies together. My Spangish was pretty good; he’d just moved to the U.S. and was learning English. Lucky for us– we had Netflix and lots of options. We often watch Spanish shows with Spanish subtitles (that accent from Spain is hard for me); he learned a ton of English (and American culture) by watching The Office. When kids came along, I found all movies and cartoons with Spanish audio for them. 

Netflix’s foreign language content keeps growing, which is good news for those of us who like learning other languages and cultures. But if you’re not sure how to adjust all the settings, here’s your quick tutorial. 

 

1. How to Change Setting Within a Movie or Show

 

Once you have a show or movie you want to watch, it’s easy to see what audio or subtitles are available. Just click on the desired language for each and push play. (If you want to get fancy, or speak a language that isn’t widely spoken, you can try the Super Netflix Chrome extension.)

 

 

 

2. How to Search by Original Language

 

If you search for the language directly (Spanish), you’ll get results for anything related to Spain or Spanish. If you want to see only movies or shows created originally in a specific language, search “_____ language,” as in “Spanish language.” 

 

 

3. How to Search by Audio/Subtitles

 

To refine the results, search with more direct phrases: “audio in Spanish” or “subtitles in Spanish.” Keep in mind, of course, that this doesn’t mean the original language will be Spanish. It will search for movies with audio or subtitles that are available in Spanish.

It bothers me to listen to audio that’s been altered, so I prefer to use the original audio and switch the subtitles to English or Spanish. But to each his or her own!

 

 

 

Here’s a quick video if you’re still unsure of how to change Netflix language settings across different different devices:

 

 

If you’re looking for Spanish-language content, see my page on Spanish movies and shows. I’ve got something for everyone!

 

 

How to Change Netflix Language Settings

Like it? Pin it!

how to change the language on Netflix

 

Cinco de Mayo Activities for Spanish Class

Cinco de Mayo Activities for Spanish Class

Inside: A round-up of Cinco de Mayo activities for the Spanish classroom. 

 

Cinco de Mayo is a weird day if you’re a Spanish teacher. On the one hand, you might recoil at the mass production of stereotypes: sombreros, margaritas, and moustaches will undoubtedly abound May 5th. This is what you get when you type “Cinco de Mayo” into Amazon:

 

On the other, hand, there’s huge interest in the day in general. It’s a great chance to bust common myths and stereotypes, and guide your students to authentic Mexican culture. You can make sure your students understand it’s not  Mexico’s independence day (that’s September 16), and teach some of real history behind the day. 

The explanation as to why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated so widely in the U.S. is a bit muddied. Some speculate the reasons go back to California during the war with France, the Chicano Power movement in the 60’s, or beer companies that hijacked the holiday in the 80’s. In some places, Latinos are proactively planning events and naming it “Semana de la Raza.”

While the holiday may not be a big deal in Mexico–outside of Puebla, maybe– I think it makes sense to acknowledge the day within U.S. classrooms. Many Mexicans here have taken up the custom of celebrating Cinco de Mayo as a chance to celebrate their heritage and home country, with large festivals in states like Texas. 

Whatever you end up doing, I have collected a ton of resources so you can celebrate or include Cinco de Mayo activities authentically in your Spanish classroom. 

If you’re unsure of the history behind the day or why we should tread with caution, I recommend reading these articles:

Cinco de Mayo Myths and Facts 

Re-thinking Cinco de Mayo

Why I Celebrate Cinco de Mayo from Fun for Spanish Teachers

Cinco de Mayo Activities & Resources

Ideas for the Classroom

 

  • Learn about La Batalla de Puebla. I’ve gathered lots of videos, infographs, and links. Remember that the history of the Battle is complicated (as history always is). 

 

  • Choose to highlight authentic Mexican culture in general. If you do this, you can study how Cinco de Mayo was latched onto by Chicano activists in the 60’s, and has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage (or even Latino in general). Below you’ll find links for culture-rich crafts, art, music, and activities. 

 

  • If you have a Spanish club, you could make goodie baskets and deliver them to local Mexican restaurants for the employees (who are about to be inundated). This could be a cute wrap-up to a study of misconceptions about Cinco de Mayo, and how it has evolved in the U.S. (I saw this idea in a FB group!)

 

  • Compare/contrast St. Patrick’s Day with Cinco de Mayo and how the two holidays interact with immigration, pride in one’s roots and history, and commercialization.

 

  • Study and discuss the evolution of Mexican food in the U.S., and find examples of authentic dishes. If you live in an area with food trucks that offer authentic food, bring one to school for an in-school Spanish class field trip.

 

ideas for field trip in spanish class

 

#authres

 

1901 poster for Cinco de Mayo by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Credit: WikiCommons

Charge of the Mexican Cavalry at the Battle of Puebla by Mike Manning. Credit: Wiki Commons 

Credit: NOTiMEX, Monografía Estatal: Secretaria de Educación Pública Gobierno del Estado de Puebla, Diseño: Juan Hernández López

Credit: Noticias Mundo Fox

For more: 

 

Cinco de Mayo Activities

 

For Kids

 

Free mini-book about Mexico from Fun for Spanish Teachers

8 Kid-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Activities from Kid World Citizen

If you need a craft but want to get beyond sombreros and tacos, consider one of these activities:

Folk Art: Amate Painting from Kid World Citizen

Learn about Frida Kahlo and do self-portraits from Kid World Citizen

Learn about the Mexican Flag from Kid World Citizen

 

Older Students

 

Here are some free lesson aids and printables:

10 Misconceptions about Spanish Language and its Speakers PPT from Spanish Plans

Cinco de Mayo Jigsaw Puzzle from The Comprehensible Classroom (reviews history and facts)

Cinco de Mayo Jigsaw Puzzle freebie from TpT

If you are looking to purchase lesson plans, I recommend this pack from The Comprehensible Classroom:

Cinco de Mayo Jigsaw Puzzle

Songs

 

May is the perfect month to highlight some authentic Mexican songs. While the rest of the U.S is eating chips and salsa (and thinking they’re celebrating Mexico’s independence), your students can highlight rich Mexican music with deep cultural roots. There are a TON of good songs; here are a few classics I love.

Cielito Lindo

 

Los Caminos de la Vida

 

Mexico Lindo y Querido

 

 

Spanish Videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

English Videos

 

 

Cinco de Mayo Activities 

Like it? Pin it!

 

Cinco de Mayo Activities

  • 1901 poster for Cinco de Mayo by Jose Guadalupe Posada | WikiCommons
  • Battle of Puebla by Mike Manning | WikiCommons
  • By AlejandroLinaresGarcia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Common

 

Peru Books for Kids: A Collection of Favorite Titles

Peru Books for Kids: A Collection of Favorite Titles

Inside: Peru books for kids: a collection of favorite titles. 

 

Peru is a magical place: full of history and culture and that stretches across the centuries. Here I’ve collected our favorite titles for introducing the country to children.

Right now, most books are very sierra-heavy: focused on the Andes and traditional culture. We live in the jungle, and there aren’t many books about the jungle, the coast, or more modern-day life. If you know of more to add, please let me know!

(For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to see my Spanish children’s books page.)

 

Peru Books for Kids

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Fictional Peru Books 

 

Maria Had a Little Llama 

An adorable bilingual re-telling of Mary Had a Little Lamb, set in the Peruvian Andes– with a few extra details. 
(PreK- 3rd grade)

 

Up and Down the Andes

Meet children who are traveling to the Inti Raymi festival (festival of the Sun God or the Incan New Year) in Cusco, through lyrical rhymes. This is a beautiful, folk-art introduction to the country and customs of Peru, with the Andes as the backdrop.
(Grades K-3)

 


The Llama’s Secret – A Peruvian Legend 

Available in Spanish and English, this folktale re-tells the story of the Great Flood. In this Andean version, a llama saves the people and animals by warning them to gather on a mountain. I love that authentic culture and words in Quechua are incorporate in this rich tale.
(Grades 2-4)

 


En Alas del Condor (Puertas al Sol)

Alma Flor Ada is one of my favorite authors, and this book is an overview of the native people of Latin America. Although it’s not only focused on Peru, the condor is the national Peruvian bird and a significant cultural reference. 

 

Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains

A Cuy (guinea pig) must outwit a hungry Fox in this light-hearted story set in the Andes. Beautiful wood-block illustrations and Quechua phrases add to the authenticity of the story.
(Grades K-3)

 


The Littlest Llama

Another llama tale, this is a sweet story about a young llama looking for friends who will play with him. Along the way, we meet typical Andean animals and beautiful scenes of Peru.
(PreK – 2nd grade)

 


Molly and the Magic Suitcase: Molly Goes to Peru

Part of a global “Molly goes to…” series, here we get an introduction to Peru through the eyes of two children, Molly and Michael. They visit Machu Picchu and other famous sites, and learn about traditional dances, clothing, and food.

 


Patterns in Peru: An Adventure in Patterning

Weaving together Peruvian culture and history, Patterns in Peru two children solve a mystery and learn about patterns along the way. 

 


Kusikiy a Child from Taquile, Peru

Written in the tradition of magical realism, Kusikiy tells the story of a Peruvian boy who travels to the Guardian Spirit of the Mountain to find the lost stars of the sky.
(K-4th grade)

 


The Adventures of Paloma in Peru

Learn about travel through Peru and caring for the environment with The Adventures of Paloma in Peru. (Each purchase in the U.S. buys a backpack for a child in Peru!)

Peru Books for Older Readers

 


Secret of the Andes

A Newberry Award winner, the main character here is an Incan boy in charge of caring for the llamas in the Sacred Valley. Mythology and indigenous traditions are woven throughout the story, as he learns the secrets of his ancestors.
(Grades 3-7)

 

Los Baker van a Peru

An adventure story set in Peru, this one is written in Spanish specifically for novice Spanish learners. 
(Middle – High School)

Non-Fiction Peru Books

 


Conoce Peru / Spotlight on Peru

Available in Spanish or English, this is the perfect introduction to Peru for kids, with an overview of its history, customs, geography, food, animals, and more. 
(Grades 2-3)

 

De la A a la Z Peru

A rhyming introduction to facts about Peru, letter by letter (M is for Machu Picchu!). Written in Spanish.
(Grades 1-3) 

 

If You Were Me and Lived in…Peru

An introduction to Peruvian culture and history for kids.
(PreK – 3rd)

 


Enrique’s Day: From Dawn to Dusk in a Peruvian City

A realistic look into the everyday life of a boy who lives in Ayacucho. Kids will be fascinated by the photos that show day-to-day customs and routines, at home, school, and around town in Peru. 
(Grades 1-4)

 

 
Doyli to the Rescue: Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon

An inspiring true story about a 10-year-old girl who lives on the Amazon river in Peru and rescues baby monkeys. Real-life photos give a fascinating look into nature and life in the jungle.
(Grades 2-4)

 


The Rainforest Grew All Around

Though not about Peru specifically, most of the books about Peru center on the Andes mountains and culture. Don’t forget that a huge portion of Peru is part of the Amazon rainforest! The Rainforest Grew All Around is a delightful introduction to the Amazon and its animal and plant inhabitants. Beautiful!
(Grades K-3)

Books about the Incas

 


The Everyday Life of the Ancient Incas

This gorgeous book (features over “500 color paintings, drawings, and photographs) is a wonderful introduction to Inca life on the everyday level.
(Grade 5 and up- I think) 

 

Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu

A wonderful book that tells the story of the “discovery” of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations and storytelling.
(Grades 2-7)

 


The Inca Empire (True Books: Ancient Civilizations)

A basic introduction to the Inca Empire, with photos.
(Grades 2-4)

 


Ancient Inca Daily Life

Another look into daily life among the Incas, for slightly younger readers.
(Grades 3-8)

 


The Ancient Inca 

An in-depth look at the history of the Ancient Inca civilization. Packed with information, art, graphs, and photos.
(Grades 5-9)

 


Machu Picchu: The story of the amazing Inkas and their city in the clouds

A high-quality introduction to the Incas, both in text and illustrations. Be aware that some graphic scenes are included (human sacrifices). (Grades 5-8)

 


Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Life

Discover folk tales from the Andes, in this lovely collection. Rich paintings and stories uncover the deep culture and traditions of the Andean natives. 

 

Do you have favorites Peru books for kids that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

Like it? Pin it!

 

Peru Books for Kids

 

 

Page 1 of 41234
Menu Title