Today I read a new book called Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey.  I selected this book because it mixes Spanish and English to tell the story of a little boy and his pet turkey, Gracias.  The class loved the story and when I finished, I read the Spanish glossary in the back to review all the Spanish words.

Maria, who is bilingual helped me with pronunciation and definitions.  I explained to the class after the story that Maria is bilingual, meaning she speaks two languages – English and Spanish.

Without missing a beat, Ernie shouted, “Mr. _______, I speak another language too!”

Now this surprised me.  As far as I knew, Ernie did not speak another language.

“Oh, what is it?” I wondered.

“I-talian!” He exclaimed.

“Really?  Like what?” I asked.

“Mama Mia!” He smiled in a rather authentic Italian accent.

Ah, it all made sense.  Ernie loves Mario Brothers video games.  He writes and talks about them all the time.  He then proceeded to give me all of of Mario’s catchphrases in his best Italian accent.

“It’s a-me, Mario!”

“Let’s a-go!”

“Mmmm – spaghetti” (I’ve never heard this in a video game, but I’ll give it to him.)

Oh my.  Well, I guess Ernie is bilingual too.  Awesome.