The Biggest Challenges of Raising Bilingual Children


As a teacher and advocate for bilingual education, you’d think I’d have it all together when it comes to raising my children to speak both English and Spanish. After all, this very project is what my professional, and a large portion of my personal life, are dedicated to.  


The reality, however, is a little different. Raising bilingual children comes with its fair share of struggles. Not all struggles will be the same for all of us, but I bet many of you will be able to relate to my list of the biggest challenges I’ve faced raising bilingual children. 


·     Speaking in Spanish doesn’t come naturally when I am surrounded by English speakers

·     Finding books in Spanish is a little more difficult, and so I have a vast library of books in English and have to translate stories as I read them

·     Trying to get the rest of my family to speak Spanish to the girls! They just automatically speak in English to them

·     The girls often don’t want to respond in Spanish, because English is easier for them

·     When I am in a hurry (or frustrated) I resort to speaking English, because I KNOW they will understand me

·      When we watch movies and T.V., I don’t always remember to look for the Spanish version

·     Sometimes we get so busy, that I don’t slow down enough to spend time doing fun activities that are rich in language


How about you? Can you relate? What other struggles have you faced when raising bilingual children? We’d love to hear from you. Share with us in the comments! 

About the Author
Keli Garcia Allen is a certified Spanish teacher and currently works as a Preschool teacher in a bilingual classroom. She is the Head of Content for Learn Safari and is currently working on Spanish Safari,  a Spanish Learning game for children 4-10 years old. You can follow her and the rest of the team on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Keli Garcia Allen