Foreign Language in Children's
Contributor's Form (list
- At the Park
- Baseball in April by Gary Soto, one story in particular
features a grandfather who is speaking Spanish to his grandson,
using the technique of having the Spanish and English appear in
tandem. Other Spanish words in the stories become clear through
- ELOISE IN PARIS by Kay Thompson (1957) in which Eloise travels
to France and there are French phrases strewn throughout. This
first of three sequels to KAY THOMPSON'S ELOISE has been
out-of-print for 35 years, but will be available again in May from
Simon & Schuster.
- The Fighting Ground by Avi, in which the dialogue of the
Hessians is only inferable from context (although I believe there
is also a translation at the back).
- In the Snow
- Two Dreamers,and it very poignantly captures the position of
children who are more acclimated to a new culture than their
parents or grandparents are. The child must struggle with the
cognitive dissonance of simultaneously knowing more than his
grandpa because he is "more" American and knowing less than him
because he is just a kid, a common dilemma for children of
- Veronica Chambers's Marisol and Magdelena, in which the
characters are Panamanian-American. M & M admit they speak
"Spanglish" in an extended family in which fluency in Spanish and
bi-culturalism is an issue.
- Villette, by Charlotte Bronte. When I read it I was 16 or 17,
and I too felt very clever reading the very numerous French
passages. I remember huge hunks of the dialogue were in French,
with translations in the footnotes.
- When This World Was New, by D.H. Figueredo a Lee and Low
imprint It's the story of a boy from the Caribbean and his first
day in the U.S. The boy doesn't speak English and he's afraid of
going to school in the U.S.: How is the teacher going to
understand him? Though the boy is thinking in Spanish, the story
is written in English with Spanish words here and there.
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Updated: April 2, 1999 | Copyright © 1999 by Nancy
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