Sybil Alexandrov I teach Spanish language for L2 learners and heritage speakers at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
I grew up in a bilingual family in Mexicali, Mexico, where I attended public schools (all in Spanish) until I was 15. For my last two years of high school I crossed the border to Calexico, California every day to attend public high school. Although I considered myself bilingual and bicultural, the enormous difference in teaching styles and cultural perspectives was a huge revelation and, at least initially, disconcerting. Where did I belong?
In college and graduate school I studied various Romance languages. I picked up a bit of Russian after meeting my husband, Vladimir. Our two children, now grown, are heritage speakers of Russian. Observing their very different reactions to language learning has helped me understand the challenges that heritage language learners AND heritage language instructors face. With my own students, my objective is to help them achieve their goals, whatever they may be, but more importantly, to help them learn to help themselves.