Tag: bilingual

  • El Testimonio: The Latino Memoir

    El Testimonio: The Latino Memoir

    Every once in a while, I do a Spanish podcast on The Writing Bull. This is a little cut of me recording it, in my “studio.” In this film, I talk about my own quest to regain my Salvadoran roots in my life, which I did, an obsession that began in high school and has […]

  • The Rules of Racism: You Can Only Speak One Language (and it damn well better be English)

    The Rules of Racism: You Can Only Speak One Language (and it damn well better be English)

    In class, I teach how creative writing can rouse memory, strong emotions, sharp images, and that, if a student keeps writing, she will surprise herself with her words. Something will come out that she hadn’t planned, an insight, the true emotion over whatever it was she wrote down. She might cry. She might bang the […]

  • Learning Spanish? Fear Not the Subjunctive!

    Learning Spanish? Fear Not the Subjunctive!

    When I threw myself into Central America, after having lived a monolingual childhood in Tennessee, I attacked the subjunctive. It’s the conjugation that twists up the English-speaking mind. You first learn that “I talk/you talk/she talks” is Yo hablo, tú hablas, ella habla. Simple enough pattern to memorize. Then along comes the subjunctive, takes the […]

  • Escaping the Monolingual Cage of America

    Escaping the Monolingual Cage of America

    According to the above photo, I’d been out drinking the night before. I don’t know what my first Spanish word was, but I do recall an image, ever so slight, of me on the toilet, yelling, “Mamá, I just finished caca-ing!” My mother has assured me that I could say much more than caca, that […]