Houston Matters

Speaking Spanish in Houston

Houston has as large a Spanish-speaking population as any city in the United States. Larger than most, in fact. As a result, many Houstonians speak both English and Spanish. But some only speak English. And some only speak Spanish. And when they interact, it can be a challenge to communicate. From an English speaking teacher […]

Houston has as large a Spanish-speaking population as any city in the United States. Larger than most, in fact. As a result, many Houstonians speak both English and Spanish. But some only speak English. And some only speak Spanish. And when they interact, it can be a challenge to communicate. From an English speaking teacher relating to a Spanish speaking parent, to a Spanish speaking doctor to an English speaking patient. In restaurants and shopping malls, churches and offices and supermarkets – wherever we congregate, we’re likely to run into someone who doesn’t speak the same language we do. Should English speaking Houstonians make more of an effort to learn Spanish? Should Spanish speaking Houstonians make more of an effort to learn English? For generations, we’ve struggled to strike a balance between everyone assimilating into society through a common language, and celebrating our “melting pot” of diversity that embraces many languages. What makes the most sense here in Houston? And for those among us who are fluently bilingual, and seek to bridge this linguistic divide, just how challenging is it?

Today, we’re talking with Aurora Losada, Editor of Houston Chronicle’s Spanish-Language bi-weekly La Voz de Houston. Also joining us in the studio is Dr. Gracie Guerrero. She’s the Assistant Superintendent for Multilingual Programs in Houston’s Independent School District.

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