Linguistic Link: Music and Bilingualism

Approximately one in five children in the U.S. speak another language other than English at home. However, many times second and third generations do not develop their second language (which they later regret). This is the case of the constituents of Girl in a Coma, a Mexican American Band of San Antonio. Nina Diaz, the lead singer of the band admits that she regrets not learning Spanish as a child. The band now incorporates Spanish in their music as a form of learning the language. “Nina Diaz says she grew up very much like the slain Tejano singer Selena.” For those who don’t know, the late Selena was a Hispanic singer who, unfortunately like many Mexican Americans, did not know Spanish; however, she learned Spanish through her music and popularized the Latin genre. Nina Diaz now follows Selena’s foot steps of learning Spanish by singing it.

Check out the NPR report about Girl in a Coma.

Take a listen to a rock cover of Selena’s “Si Una Vez” by Girl in a Coma, and the original by Selena. Would you agree that their method of learning Spanish has worked?

So there you have it…if music is your thing, use it as a tool to resurrect your native language or simply to learn a foreign language!




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