Thursday, 12 January 2012

Reading to a bilingual baby & a glimpse at our bookshelf

I´ve always been an avid reader and am hoping to pass on my passion for books to my daughter. Furthermore, I think reading in both languages will expand her vocabulary and help her understanding of each language so we started reading to her from 4 months on. We take it in turns to read to her, one night I read to her in English and the following night my husband reads to her in Spanish and if she´s really lucky some nights, she´ll hear two stories, one in English and one in Spanish!

I don´t think it´s necessary for all her books to be bilingual so long as she has plenty in both languages. I´ll be looking at some bilingual books more in-depth in future posts. We read her proper stories but when I can I also go through first word books with her and today I´m going to look at some of these books,which we have on our bookshelves. My husband is supposed to go through the Spanish word books with her but I´m not so sure he does!!!

The first book is Baby´s First Book published by Ladybird books. This is quite an old book or edition and I´m not sure if it is still in print but was purchased rather cheaply off Ebay! I like it because it has large, colourful pictures of typical, everyday objects such as teddy, car etc with the word underneath in large print. Even though this book is in English, you could still use the pictures but instead using the Spanish word (or whichever other language you are trying to instill).

The following books were actually bought for my English classes (I teach English to Spanish children) but they are now also Chloe´s! They are a set of books that are beautifully presented as a box set The Little Learning Library and are based on Eric Carle´s book The Hungry Caterpillar. They are broken up into words,numbers, colours and animal sounds and are beautifully illustrated.

I was struggling to find any Spanish first word books at first and ended up buying this book: Aprende con osito: Colores. This is a series of books, which I think include numbers, shapes maybe etc. The pages are split into colours and have different objects/words which are that particular colour and photos and drawings of the objects. Plus on each page you have to try and find the "osito" (teddy bear) although Chloe is a bit young to search for the teddy at the moment!

The final book on my list is Palabras: Nombres, which one of my students kindly gave to me and again is a series of books i.e. Palabras: Numeros, Palabras: Adjectivos etc. It has colourful drawings with the Spanish word underneath.

I´d reccommend any of these books to flick through with your babies & toddlers, pointing to the pictures and talking about the objects and you can also use them in a bilingual manner,despite the language in which the word is printed!

I´d also check out your local library as they could have books in the minority language. I live in a very small city with only a few foreigners and I was surprised that it had quite a few English books for children and also a couple in Rumanian, Italian, Portuguese, German and probably French, Chinese and Moroccan too!

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful! We also started reading to our son around 4 months old. As he's gotten older, he can often be found sitting in front of his bookcase "reading" his books. It's wonderful to instill a love of books from such a young age.
    We also have several "word" books - interestingly, they're all in the minority language (German). They've been great tools as his language has developed. He loves to look at the pictures. Then I'd ask where different objects were, and he'd point to them. He then even started showing us his humor by teasing us - intentionally pointing to the wrong object, then pointing to the right one and giggling :) Now that he's talking, I point to pictures, and he says the words. Fabulous!
    Although we're not Spanish-speakers, it's fun to read about the books from others' libraries. Thanks for sharing!