I have to administer a survey to an English Language Learner. I don't have any students, so I had to think of a creative way to accomplish this task. I saw a good chance to get some family history. I called my dad.
"Dad," I asked, "Did you grow up in a bilingual household?"
"What do you mean?" he replied.
"Didn't your grandparents speak Portuguese at home?"
He admitted that they spoke some Portuguese to his parents, but not to him. I persisted nonetheless.
"Did you speak Portuguese with your parents?"
"Karen, I don't speak Portuguese."
"But you know the word for onion," I persisted.
"That's true," he replied, "Cebola. Cebola."
"I also heard some curse words growing up."
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