My blog’s tagline is Second Grade…Spanglish Style (as you can see above). I put a lot of thought into my tagline – but my sister recently made it sound like “Spanglish” makes me sound like a bad teacher given that Spanglish is generally has a negative connotation…so I wanted to clarify here, why I chose Spanglish.
1. I teach in a bilingual classroom BUT second grade in my district is a year of transition. I continue building literacy in Spanish but we begin to transition to English. Our classroom uses both languages. At this point in the school year we are doing more English than Spanish but we still do both HENCE, Spanglish!
2.Alliteration is amazing, and I really wanted to have alliteration in my title as much as possible…Castro, class, second, Spanglish, style…I # alliteration!
3. The bilingual mind does not always function like a well oiled machine. I think in both languages and sometimes I’ll struggle to come up with the right word in one language and wish I could just throw in the word from the other language…¿entiendes?
4. My students are transitioning and that means that when speaking in English they won’t always know all of the words they need to express themselves, so sometimes they’ll use a Spanish word. Which is OK with me, because I want my students to feel comfortable when expressing themselves. We do a lot of vocabulary work to help them build their vocabulary but still, Spanglish happens!
When I think of Spanglish I think of a bilingual person who is able to speak well in both languages, but sometimes switches between the two for various reasons. I do not promote blending the two languages and making up new words that aren't Spanish or English. That would not help my students become literate in either language.
I hope that makes my decision to use Spanglish in my title more understandable…I won’t discuss here what my beliefs are on bilingual education in general, I know that not everyone agrees with bilingual education. I will say that I love my job, my students and the families I work with. My goal is to get my students as prepared as possible for an all-English third grade classroom and sometimes that requires some Spanglish.