One thing which I think we do not talk about enough is the prevalence and usage of “Spaniglish”. Living in Spain this past summer, it was not as prevalent because almost all of the people only speak spanish and they don’t want to try to speak english. But now that I have been more involved with the spanish community here in North Carolina, I have realized the big role “Spanglish’ has in uniting the community. The ability to try to speak another language but to still have the flexibility to replace words when there are some that you don’t know.
During any given Saturday at ISLA, you can hear volunteers, parents and children mixing and combining spanish words and english words seamlessly, as if the use of the two together were its own language. In my opinion, the use of Spanglish successfully in a community requires an effort from both sides. Spanish speakers need to try to use english, while english speakers also should incorporate spanish into their daily vocabulary. If we had these efforts from both sides, these communities where there is a language barrier would see that barrier disappear.
ISLA promueva el desarrollo de ambos lenguas, teaching classes in English for parents during the day and using exclusively spanish in the kids’ classes. These kids are inundated with english influences; it’s important that they use spanish in these class on Saturday so that they don’t forget their native language or don’t lose the progress they have made in learning spanish. However, sometimes the parents are more removed from american influences, and por this reason they don’t learn english well and it can be difficult to participate in the community. ISLA, through its games, meetings and conferences amongst students, professors and kids helps to increase the prevalence of proficient spanish and english speakers in the community. I saw the quote that “To have another language is to possess another soul” by Charlemagne attatched to the Jenice Ramirez’s e-mail, the executive director of ISLA, and I think it is very accurate. It follows then, that to speak Spanglish is to show your two souls.