I enjoyed reading this article because I took Spanish for five years and it felt like I could somewhat relate. ;) Anywho, down to business. Last week when I was volunteering, I randomly decided to ask some of the kids if they ever spoke English outside of school. They said that they spoke English sometimes in public, but rarely at home.
In this article, a Spanish family decided to start speaking only English around their kids in order to speed up their English fluency. This was a very good strategy and had great results; however, I don't believe that it was a good idea. After this family started using this strategy, their kids (especially Ricardo) slowly forgot their native language of Spanish. The family's relatives then frowned upon this and looked down on their family.
It's a good idea to encourage English in a Spanish household; however, it isn't necessary to completely turn away from Spanish. A person's background is important and shouldn't be put at risk. I believe that this family should have spoken both languages in their house. Therefore, the kids would learn English faster while keeping their native language.
I have a friend back in Fargo that was in a similar situation. Her family came from Vietnam when she was fairly young. When her family came to the United States, her parents spoke some English; however, she did not know any words. As she got older, the language in her house began switching to more and more English. Nowadays, the language spoken in her house is about half Vietnamese and half English. I think that this was a good strategy because she is still fluent in both languages. Also, she still practices some of her native culture.
I have always lived in the United States, so my native language of English has never really been threatened. However, I kind of wonder how long it would take me to forget English words if I were to move to a foreign country.