Archive for the ‘foreign languages in NY’ Category

NYC for Bilingual families – When your visit becomes a classroom experience!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

I attended BlogWorld Conference this past week in NYC and BEA, Book Expo and it was an amazing experience to see so many accents and foreign colors represented at the conference and during our time off!

I took my husband and son because it was my son’s request to spend his birthday in NYC, so we enjoyed the best of both worlds! I never imagined the trip would end up giving us a lot more than what we bargained for, such a rich environment for bilingual growth for international learning, it gave me one more reason to come back to NY!

I would spend days sharing all the opportunities we had to share and experience culture exchange, so I will limit this post to our highlights!

My husband and I attended the conference, so my friend generously asked her mom to help us and babysit my son! Little did I know that he would get a lot more than a babysitter! Ita, how he affectionately called her, became a second grandmother, latin way, loving and caring! She not only taught him Spanish those 3 days but brought him Spanish snacks and cooked arroz con frijoles on the last day and introduced him to her lovely family! She enriched his life in a bigger way than she will ever understand! He lost one of his grandmas when he was born and my mom is in Brazil, so Ita filled an empty space in his heart and gave him more reasons to be proud of speaking a foreign language and to learn it! I wished she lived closer!

Our second night in the hotel my son decided to go to the pool and an older German couple came with grand kids, they were talking in German about the water and asking about a shower, dusche….I heard and said to myself, here I go, dust my German spiderwebs and try to help them, this lead into a whole conversation about Brazil and soccer and to my son being able to play with a German child without speaking his language! I could see in my son’s eyes how proud he was of my German, since he had never heard me speak the language; I was surprised myself to remember so many words and to be able to carry a conversation for over 40min with them! At the end my son came back saying spielen…..(play in German), Wasser (water), and other words he picked up! Priceless to see foreign languages in action outside the formal classroom scenario!

Thursday night we went to HardRock Cafe in Times Square and Toys r us, both places had so many Brazilians, it was unbelievable! It looked like New Year’s Eve there! That’s when I saw Mario and Luigi and tried to teach them some Spanish or Portuguese and they said, Mama Mia!!

On Friday we went to the Tish zoo in Central Park and the main part of the zoo had a rain forest exhibit with so many birds from South America, I swear, it smelled and felt like Brazil in there! LOL We then, heard all these Brazilians in there and my son jumped, mom, this is Brazilian, why are they speaking Brazilian?? I was also amazed at the amount of Brazilians there! It felt like we were all invited to a party! I showed my son some birds and explained their names in Portuguese. I highly recommend, great activity for children in NYC, great place to teach them a foreign language, Spanish and Portuguese in particular! We saw this Arara and I told my son, call her, ARARA, ARARA! He did and she aswnered! Loved it!

¬†I wanted to visit Macy’s Brazilian exhibit, that will have to wait until August when we return for BlogHer! Can’t wait to share more places bilingual friendly! Hope you enjoyed our journey! My family had a blast! Thinking NY is not for children, think twice!




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