Sunday, 21 July 2013

English Resources for Native and Non-Native Parents

I have been fairly quiet recently and my lack of posts and comments is due not only to a lack of time but also largely to a lack in subject matter or topics to write about...I seem to have got a bit of writer´s block perhaps!However, I´m hoping that this summer, I´ll get back on track and find some inspiration and time to write about it!

As the mother of a bilingual child, I´m always on the lookout for plenty of English resources to support what she is hearing from me and to provide extra English imput, and although some English resources can be found ,there is not a great variety or selection where I live.Last summer, when I was in the UK, I found a great CD for only about a fiver, from WHSmith, called If You´re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands, a compilation of 25 favourite children´s nursery rhymes and songs...there were a few that I didn´t know or hadn´t heard before too!Also, a bonus about this CD is that it also contains 50 printouts which include the song lyrics and activity sheets,such as spot the differences, join the dots etc and also has a animated version of Row,Row,Row Your Boat. This is great to listen to on a long car journey or at home to dance along to and join in with the actions.

Another great English resource which I bought recently is the Rainbow Songs, Rhymes,Stories and Tales DVD. Rainbow was a popular children´s TV programme when I was a little girl and I enjoyed watching it. It stars Geoffrey, Rod,Jane and Freddie as the presenters and puppets, Zippy,Bungle and George. However, my daughter hasn´t shown much interest in watching this DVD yet...I can´t seem to tear her away from Peppa Pig but I do think it will be a great English resource,particularly as I want her to know her cultural heritage not only the English language and hopefully enjoy programmes I enjoyed as a child (even if they may be a little dated now!) It contains the story of Rumplestiltskin, The Ugly Duckling and The Hare and The Tortoise and there is also a sing-a-long to favourite nursery rhymes such as Incy,Wincy Spider and Humpty Dumpty. You can buy it on for around 5 pounds and the Super Saver Delivery is an available option so again it is fairly inexpensive.

The VTec Rhyme and Discover book  is also a fantastic way to expose your children to more English as it contains 7 popular nursery rhymes, such as Mary Had A Little Lamb,Ring a Ring a Roses and 3 Little Kittens, which babies and toddlers can sing along to and join in with and also encourages children to learn and think. It also contains various phrases such as "It´s time for a rhyme", "Turn the page" and "the end". I originally bought this when I was in the USA for my monolingual nieces and now it has been passed on to my daughter,who loves it. I don´t know if my nieces played with it very often or how many times the batteries have been changed but it´s still going strong!As I bought this in the US, it has an American accent and some of the nursery rhyme words are slightly different to the versions I learnt and usually sing.I can´t remember how much it cost me but again I don´t think it was so expensive.

Finally, although I don´t have an Iphone, I do have a Smartphone and I was searching for free bilingual apps one day and came across the app: Pocoyo: Las Mil Puertas, which I downloaded. This app is great for young children to listen to while you are in the waiting room at the doctor´s or dentist´s or something. You can choose between Spanish or English and as it is a story, you also have the choice of listening to it being read or reading it yourself. It is also interactive as if the child touches the door for example, the door will open.