Born in the Dominican Republic, when we emigrated to the United States, my family always stressed the importance of the ability to read and write in both English and Spanish. In order to achieve bilingual proficiency one needs a strong base in the maternal language and thus my parents required us to speak Spanish at home. Having the advantage of two languages gave me the ability to communicate with two cultures. Thanks to my parent’s efforts and persistence, I now enjoy the benefits of being completely bilingual.
Having this ability allows me to help my community by instilling in my students the love of their native language as well as the English language that they will acquire in the future.