Bosley, the Language Bear

Win ALL 6 Bosley Books This Week!

This year, for Black Friday week I’ll be giving away a full set of 6 Bosley books (in the language of your choice) to one lucky winner!

The contest closes THIS SUNDAY so get your entries in now!

There are lots of ways to enter, just check out the details of the contest below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bosley’s First Dual Language Interactive Tablet App – Now Available!

Bosley Sees the World - Interactive Tablet appFollow Bosley Bear as he discovers how big the world is and how much there is to explore and learn. Bosley is a confident and curious little bear who looks for new challenges around every corner. Inspire your child to explore the world around them while enjoying a wholesome, interactive bedtime story. For children, learning a new language in the context of a story is such a powerful learning tool, because they can use the images, characters and plot to help them remember words and phrases. Even simple foreign words and phrases can give a child a completely new perspective and open their eyes to new ways of seeing the world.

In Bosley’s first ever tablet app, readers can enjoy:

  • Dual-language audio narration
  • Highlighted words
  • Background sound effects
  • Animated scenes
  • Interactive touch points that teach vocab
  • and Bosley’s theme song!

Currently the only app available is the German translation of “Bosley Sees the World”.  Stay tuned for more apps when they become available.

IPad – Android – Kindle Fire

Meet the author, Tim Johnson

All of my self-published books to date.

All of my self-published books to date.

Hello readers and Bosley fans!  Thank you so much for all your love and support in 2013!  Bosley has another book set to be released this spring and 2-3 more books after that that will be published in 2014.  Stay tuned on Bosley’s facebook page for more information about those new books.

If you would like to know more about me as an author, please come visit my brand new FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE!

I have big plans for this year and plan to move into publishing other children’s books.  Some will be science related, some will be related to martial arts and who knows what else!  I would love to be able to stay in touch with you and share things on a more personal level through this new facebook page.  I love networking with other authors and publishers, meeting teachers, parents and interested youngsters, so please take a look and connect with me!

Have you ever wanted to write a children’s book?  I have also been helping a lot of people get started on their journey of writing a children’s book.  It’s a great time to be a children’s author and I love seeing people of all ages take interest and find the initiative to get started following their dreams!!  I would love to help you if you are interested.

Parent / Teacher Guide for Bosley Sees the World now Available!

Bosley Sees the World Teacher's Guide Kindle

The Parent / Teacher Guide for Bosley Sees the World is now available!!

This is a great opportunity for teachers to bring Bosley Bear into their classroom and introduce him to students as you immerse them into his world through these creative and inspiring activities.  Bosley songs, craft projects, collaboration, interactive play, and much more! You will definitely find something in this guide that will bring Bosley to life in your classroom.

I was so luck to find Leanne Williams, M.Ed. a specialist in children’s curriculum development to help me with this project.  She has incorporated all sorts of different learning styles into these lessons.

For your FREE copy of this guide book, just click here!

It is also available in Kindle format and will soon be available in print as well :)

Christmas Giveaway Update!! Still a chance to win!

I’ve been having a lot of fun connecting with all of these bloggers and offering so many giveaways this month.

There has been a great response to the book launch, and there are still LOTS of books to giveaway and PLENTY of chances to win one. All of the blogs below are running giveaways for Bosley, but I’ve gotten to know them all in the process and they also have a lot of great articles on parenting, language learning, child rearing and all sorts of other interesting things, so don’t forget to check out what they have to say.

Here is a quick update to all of the giveaways that are currently running.

Currently Running Giveaways:

http://www.mamafashionfiles.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-book-review.html

http://babymmakesthree.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-book-review.html

http://www.amomentinourworld.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-review.html

http://cookingfromasahm.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-giveaway.html

http://www.ourhavenhill.com/2013/11/07/a-giveaway-in-time-for-Christmas/

http://grayhairedmom.com/

http://fourthstpayphone.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-tree-house-and-giveaway.html ENDS TODAY!!

http://www.ourwolvesden.net/2013/11/debut-of-new-book-giveaway-in.html

http://www.nuggetonabudget.com/2013/11/dual-language-childrens-book-review.html ENDS TOMORROW!!

http://ingspirations.com/2013/11/13/bilingual-book-bosley-builds-a-treehouse-review-giveaway/

http://metrodetroitmommy.blogspot.com/2013/11/language-bear-bosley-build-tree-house.html

http://servedupwithlove.blogspot.com/2013/11/bosley-builds-treehouse-dual-language.html

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/73082-bosley-builds-a-tree-house—french-english

Enter to win your copy now and GOOD LUCK!

Big Changes at TheLanguageBear.com!

Three Bosley BooksAs many of you may know, the Language Bear has long been a one-man show and it has been a LOT of work to keep up with all the details that go along with running an online bookstore as well as becoming a children’s author.  I’ve decided to simplify things a little bit and do away with the bookstore portion of the website.  You will now notice that there are no more books for sale!!  OH NO!!  Well, there are a couple… it’s going to be all Bosley all the time!

That’s right, the bookstore is too much work and not worth the effort.  Bosley on the other hand is ramping up and he’s having a blast!  The first two books have been very well recieved and have gotten excellent reviews from readers, parents, teachers and professionals from all around the world!  And as you can see, there are two more books in the works right now!!

Book 3:  Bosley’s First Words

Book 4:  Bosley Builds a Treehouse

I’m very excited about these two additions to the Adventures of Bosley Bear series and can’t wait to get them into print!  It’s a great feeling to see your own stories take shape and come to life in a book.  After these two come out, there are plenty more adventures that Bosley is just waiting to go on with you!  And I will be looking for input from the readers in order to keep improving the series as well.

I will still maintain the blog and will continue to write about ways to teach bilingualism to your children and other related topics when I can find the time to write.  My wife and I just had TWINS so time is scarce, (hence the simplification efforts here) but I will do my best.

I’m also very happy to announce that Bosley has a new publicist who will be helping me to get the word out there and make Bosley a superstar!!  Well, we’ll see about that, for now, we’ll at least try to make some new friends for him.

How the internet has changed our ability to learn languages

The internet has changed the very way we live. When once we had to visit libraries to get the information that we wanted and had to sort through God only knows how many piles of books and other works just to get what we need, everything is now available at the push of a button through the internet. Everything we’ve ever needed is at our fingertips thanks to the innovation that is the internet and the boons it offers us. Also of note is how the internet has changed our very perception of language.

For instance, years ago, it may require a person to take up a specific language class to fully perfect their language in a given language. And there were times when a person wanting to learn another language had to go all the way to another country to immerse themselves in a community that can teach them the local language. That is no longer the case in this day and age as people can now meet other people over the internet with very little hassle and conduct entire conversations without even leaving the comforts of their own home.

For instance, a person wanting to learn Swedish for instance can simply seek out anyone knowledgeable in Swedish and willing to share their knowledge. They can either conduct lessons through paid services and sharing of accounts or simply share a mutual advantage by teaching each other their respective language. And to better improve one’s Swedish and test their own skills in the process, they can choose to join Swedish chatrooms where they’re sure to practice their second language skills.

The Value of Context in Language Learning

Nowadays, There are a multitude of ways for bilingual children to learn languages. From flash cards and language classes, to interactive multimedia programs, different opportunities continue to sprout. However, what parents and educators may sometimes forget is the value of context in 5555409_origlanguage learning. Although teaching materials such as flash cards and multimedia programs may be fun and educational, it does not encompass the scope of language enrichment one learns from real human interactions and conversations. We use language in order to communicate with each other, and it is therefore best learned naturally – by way of stories, discussions, and conversations.

When it comes to bilingual children and those who are just starting to learn a language, the same goal applies — to give them as much varied language exposure as possible. There is actually no single approach in teaching language due to the fact that every child is unique and have different language levels. Having said this, it’s fundamental to provide varied opportunities for language exposure and interaction to progressively benefit each child.

Tips on How Bilingual Children Can Learn Language in Context

1. Reading Out Loud

Although you’ve probably heard of it before, we continually advocate reading books out loud to children because of its wonderful benefits. For one thing, it’s a great way to introduce vocabulary words in context since there is a story being told. Books below a child’s language level even prove to be beneficial because it includes more subtle elements of language which we may often forget such as rhythm, intonation, speed, accent, and more. Books featuring different cultures would be great. Another good idea is to let children read out loud to each other.

2. Games

Playing games is a fun and informal way to get everybody involved. Choose games that uses language, but is easy enough so that everyone can participate. Remember that children shouldn’t feel panic or worry about their language skills in such games.

3. Circle Time

It would be great to gather children together for “circle time” to discuss certain topics and encourage them to listen to others and converse as well. Normally, it would be better to keep the circles small so that it would be less intimidating. Explain to the children that it is not right to laugh at others’ language skills, and let them know that they have different levels when it comes to language development and what’s important is that they support and encourage one another.

4. Sing-Along 

Singing songs together is a fun way to encourage learning language in context. The melodies, rhythms, and rhymes of songs allow for better retention and understanding. Moreover, it gives those who are insecure about their language skills the opportunity to naturally learn language as they sing along.

5. One-on-one conversations

Have weekly one-on-one conversations with each child. That way, you get to know them better, understand their different needs, and thus help each of them blossom in their own way. Moreover, this presents an opportunity for adult and child to bond. After all, it’s essential for children to know that key adults in their lives take time to sincerely listen to them, more so as they are still developing their language skills.

Yes, language development is partly about learning words, phrases, and how to compose them into correct sentences and paragraphs. However, it is also about how such words relate to our emotions and interactions with others. With this, it is truly beneficial to learn words in context, and we can do so through real interactions and conversations with others. The bonds that we establish are likewise essential because such experiences have lasting value.

Bosley’s first press in Espanol!

Thanks to Latinoslared.com, a new article has just been published about Bosley and the benefit of dual language books for children.

Check it out for yourself if you’re fluent!

http://latinosenlared.com/2013/03/bosley-ve-el-mundo-un-libro-en-dos-idi…

Cultivating the Right Attitudes in Learning Language

Let your child work around things they don’t know how to say, but teach them the right way to say it

While children are learning language, work arounds are okay and can help them along the way. However,  you should not let them become too comfortable with it that they forget to learn the real way of saying things. By doing so, you help them explore the language with your guidance.
Don’t be a perfectionist 
 
If you point out each and every mistake in the way your children speak, they might develop a fear in speaking, and this will prevent them from fully exploring the language. You see, fear and too much consciousness ruins one’s ability to converse naturally. Instead, encourage your children to share their thoughts, jokes, and opinions. That way, they would have the confidence to engage in conversations and in the process, learn the language better and in a more authentic way.
Encourage Children to Explore the Language
 
Let your children appreciate the beauty and complexity of the language. Allow them explore, immerse, and converse. Expose them to a variety of books poetry, prose, and even games where they can enjoy and learn at the same time. Go through the possibilities with them and let them fully experience the process of learning the language.
Remember, language learning shouldn’t be a chore. Rather, it should be a journey to discovery and a pathway to wonderful opportunities. In the process, cultivating the right attitudes will definitely help your children learn language in a more fun and meaningful way.

Exposure to the Target Language: How Much is Necessary?

Children have the ability to absorb language quickly. However, there should be enough exposure to the language for them to be able to learn effectively. So how do children learn language? Naturally, they learn through daily interactions and emotional bonds with those around them. For example, there’s language learning while children play everyday games such as peekaboo and when they are talked to when bathed or fed, while having their clothes changed, at the car seat, etc. Indeed, they are very curious and have an open mind as they go about their everyday activities.

Day By Day Learning

Whenever parents or guardians communicate with their children on a daily basis, they are able to pick up on the spoken language. Through months of these daily interactions, young children are able to gradually learn and understand the role of language in social life. Sooner or later, they start to recognize language patterns in such interactions and are able to participate as well, enabling them to learn language better. Meanwhile, as children become more able to communicate the language, parents and guardians naturally start to use more complex language forms while speaking with them. As a result, this helps children in language development. According to studies, vocabulary growth among children highly depended on their exposure to words. This is proof that exposure to the target language is indeed an important factor in language learning.

In conclusion, children who are more exposed to the language in daily interactions tend to learn language better. What determines language learning appears not much to do about what the children are explicitly taught (Ex. through warnings about grammar and usage such as “Don’t end your sentence with a preposition). Rather, what matters is what the children hear and the language that they are exposed with through everyday conversation, and in the variety of situations that they are able to experience along the way.

Source:

http://www.multilingualliving.com/2010/04/23/everyday-language-exposure-…

Image Courtesy of David Castille Dominici/ FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Tips On Reading Bilingual Books Out Loud

1. Create a Comfortable Environment

A cozy and comfortable environment helps encourage a child to listen. Find a special place, may it be a cozy spot in your living room, patio, classroom, or in the middle of a room with comfortable pillows. You can also include blankets and stuffed toys so that the children can snuggle while listening.

2. Choose a Book that You Like

Chances are, your children will notice it if you don’t like the material that you’re reading. Pick books that capture your interest and have characters that you would enjoy portraying. There are a variety of bilingual books available, and you’ll surely find one that captures your taste. Check out http://www.thelanguagebear.com/featured for our featured bilingual children’s books.

3. Be creative: Props and costumes would be great

Use imagination and creativity, without going over the top. See what you can find around the area to help act out a story: a hat, a wand, a puppet, a scarf, funny shoes, etc. There are many ways to use these props and costumes to spark wonder, imagination, and laughter. Using them especially in key moments of the story can make a big difference.

4. Ask questions that are Engaging

Story time shouldn’t make children feel that they are probed with questions that assess and evaluate their comprehension. If needed, you can do so after the story has been told. Rather, get the children involved and excited while reading the story. Ask Questions and allow them to reflect: “Oh no! Is he going down the well?” “I wonder why he chose the red apple?” “Ooh, isn’t that the lovely yellow color that they chose for the room here?”

5. Expressions Make a Difference

Be aware of your expressions when reading out loud. Incorporate different sounds for each of the characters. When the story gets exciting, use a loud and speedy voice. Use a slow and soft voice when it gets sad or reflective. This especially applies in stories with dialog, but even those without the dialog can be astonishing if you use varied expressions.

6. Leave Some Suspense

When reading a chapter book, finish on a suspense-filled chapter so that it leaves the children looking forward to tomorrow’s storytelling session. In short picture books, look for cliffhangers in the middle of the story, and stop and look at each child with wide and excited eyes, until they ask you to continue on with the story. Observe which among the books excite the children the most, and see if you can find more of these.

These are just some suggestions on how to utilize bilingual children’s books effectively. By letting children enjoy these books, we open doors not just to language learning, but also multicultural awareness, appreciation, and values learning, which is essential as children gain a wider perspective of things.

The Joy of Reading Bilingual Books With Your Children

Even before children learn to read, it’s a joy to introduce them to the magic of books. The wide array of stories, pictures, and words, can occupy their minds with fascination and wonder. Magical stories can blossom and inspire them as they go on their way. Furthermore, bilingual books provide an added layer of wonder and encourage learning beyond mere facts and figures. Read on for tips on how to use bilingual books effectively.

 

Ways to Use Bilingual Books:

1. Read the Books Out Loud

Remember when we were young, and adults would read picture books to us? A great factor depended on the way they tell the story: a gentle hum of a fairy, an eerie chuckle of a gargoyle, a roar of a dragon. Yes, we savored every word being said, but what made it more captivating was how the books were read to us. The more involved and into the character the storyteller was, the more the story was brought to life.

In particular, reading aloud helps bilingual children learn language better. It paves way to understanding the story better, as well as picking up on vocabulary. Whether it be an adventure-filled or calm story, we can help bring stories to life and captivate children using different voices, intonations, speed, and a dash of creativity.

Teachers can read the books in the school language while parents can read it in the home language. On the other hand, the storyteller can read it in one language first, then in the other language the next time. As the children are able to listen to the story in both languages, language learning and culture awareness is enhanced. Not to mention, parent-child bonding is strengthened.

2. Show specific words in the other language

While reading a bilingual book in one language, you can point out or show certain words(at a minimum) written in the other language. By doing so, you foster cusriosity and interest in the language without confusing them. This helps them realize that languages can be written in a variety of scripts and letters and that words and sounds can be represented in differerent ways.

3. Encourage Reading in Both Languages

Encourage children to read bilingual books in both languages, even if they’re stronger in one than the other. You see, when children understand the story in the stronger language, it will enhance their understanding of the weaker language while strengthening their understanding of the stronger language at the same time.  Thus, it will help them develop both languages and understand words in context. Read it in one language first, then the other.

4. Ask Questions and Rouse Discussions in both Languages

One of the benefits of using bilingual books is that it provides the opportunity of discussing the same subject in not just one language. By talking and conversing about the subject, children become more exposed to the language and the way it is naturally used.

5. Welcome Books That Feature Different Cultures

It would be nice to read books that highlight different cultures, customs, and traditions. This helps children understand and welcome cultural diversity. In other words, it’s a subtle way to cultivate awareness and appreciation towards different cultures.

6. Make the books accessible (at home, in school, at the library, etc.)

Make bilingual children’s books available at home, in school, at the library, and in other places often frequented by children. If you’re a parent, ask if your child’s school or library provides bilingual books and suggest it to them if they don’t. Alongside language development, providing bilingual books encourages both family members and teachers to immerse with children using the same books.

7. Have Fun With Language

The most essential part of learning and utilizing language is having fun with it. Using bilingual children’s books in a variety of ways pave way to this. Discussing the words, the storyline, the characters and the funny rhymes and letters in a language are just some examples of how parents and teachers can make learning fun for children. Yes, we may sometimes become too focused on language mastery that we forget the value of making it enjoyable for children, but we must remember that having fun is indeed an essential ingredient in language succes.

The Value of Immersion in Learning a New Language

It’s true that many schools today are already offering foreign language subjects, and this has opened doors for learning new languages. However, a classroom setting often does not cover other necessary lessons that encompass truly learning a language. In the classroom, you memorize words, write sentences, and take tests. However, there’s a possibility to forget it after finishing the subjects. Engaging in an immersion environment however, lets you learn the language in the real life setting, and this has a lasting value. Even for just a few months, being in an immersion environment makes a lot of difference. Here’s why.

Image Courtesy of Savit Keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. You learn to let go of your fears

In a classroom setting, you study the language on a step by step basis. You memorize some vocabulary words, engage in some conversational exercises, write sentences, and take tests. In an immersion environment however, it is necessary to speak the language to be able to communicate with the people there. After a while, you learn to let go of the inhibitions and the fear of making mistakes. And as you let go of that fear, you are then able to open up to authentic conversation along the way.

2. You learn the natural way, as young children do

Isn’t it amazing when toddlers learn how to speak a language or two very quickly? It makes us realize that the most effective way to learn a new language is to approach it the way a child would. Rather than just memorizing flashcards or completing homeworks, it is more potent when you listen, absorb, and speak the language naturally. In an immersion environment, you learn a specific language the natural way, just like a child.

3. You become more in tune with the language in real life

In an immersion environment, you learn how the language is actually spoken in different situations in real life, beyond just memorization of words or youth slang. You learn about idiomatic ways of speaking, the way people joke, and what types of jokes are considered as funny. These lessons cannot be found in textbooks, but can only be learned as you immerse in the language.

4. You gain a deeper understanding of the language

Yes, classroom education really does help in introducing a new language and learning about the meaning of words. But after being introduced to a language, engaging in an immersion environment opens doors to learning much more. You learn more about pronunciation, intonation, facial and vocal emotions that are appropriate for different expressions. You gain a deeper understanding of the language as you converse naturally with people.

5. You learn about a different culture

As you converse with people in an immersion environment, you learn about their culture, including their customs and traditions. You gain a deeper understanding of the place and the people. Such experiences helps you gain a wider perspective as you become more in tune with the world.

Being immersed in a language really does help in gaining a deeper senseof the language. However, not all learners have the opportunity to spend time in an immersion environment. If this is the case and you won’t be able to travel to a specific place to immerse, then you can always create an immersion environment where you’re at. You can look for native speakers in your area or maybe subscribe to tv channels that speak the language. There are actually many ways to create an immersion environment without the need to ride on a plane. Who knows? You might become fluent in the language before you know it! Happy Learning!

 

Source:

http://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/languageimmersion.htm

 

Image Courtesy of Savit Keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Simple Russian Words for Toddlers

Did you know that Russian is Eurasia’s most geographically widespread language, and the most widely spoken among the Slavic languages? However, for a foreigner, Russian may seem like a tough language to learn. But like what they say: ‘If there’s a will, there’s a way’.

Image Courtesy of Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.netChildren, in particular, have great capacity to learn a new language at an early age. So if you want your child to learn Russian, you don’t have to worry. There are a lot of ways to do so especially since children are able to absorb language better during this time. One of the best ways is through exploratory play, where a child is able to learn in educational yet creative activities that are both accessible and kid-friendly. This method enhances the learning experience while helping the child gain a wider perspective of things. Also, make sure to encourage your toddler and give praise when he shows progress. That way, your child has a support system along the way.

How about getting to know some Russian today? Below are some simple words to start off.

 

Greetings in Russian

1. Hi!                             Привет!                         Preevyet

2. Hello                          Здравствуйте                  Zdrastvooyte

3. Good morning              Доброе утро                  Dobraye ootro

4. Good afternoon            Добрый день                 Dobriy den’

5. Good evening               Добрый вечер               Dobriy vyecher

6. Nice to see you!            Pад тебя видеть             Rat teebya veedet’

7. How are you?               Как поживаешь?            Kak pazhivayesh?

8. Fine, thanks!                Спасибо, прекрасно!      Spaseeba preekrasna!

9. Not so bad                    Неплохо!                      Neeploha!

10. What’s your name?      Как Вас зовут?               Kak vas zavoot?

11. My name is…              Меня зовут…                  Meenya zavoot…

 

 

Saying Thank You in Russian

 

Thank you                          Спасибо                    Spaseeba

Thank you very much           Большое спасибо       Bal’shoye spaseeba

That’s all right                     Не за что                   Nyezashta

You’re welcome                    Пожалуйста                Pazhalooysta

 

 

Apologies in Russian

 

1. Sorry!                     Извините                              Eezveeneete

2. Excuse me              Простите                               Prasteete

3. That’s all right         Ничего,ничего,пожалуйста      Neechevo,neechevo,pazhaloosta

4. No harm                  Ничего страшного                 Neechevo srashnava

 

 

Saying Goodbye in Russian

 

1. Good-bye!              До свидания!                     Da sveedaneeya

2. Bye-bye!                Пока!                               Paka

3. See you                 Увидимся                           Ooveedeemsya

4. Have a nice trip!      Счастливого пути!              Schasleevava pootee

5. I’m sorry I (we)should be going –   К сожалению, мне (нам)пора идти – K sazhalyeneeyoo mnye (nam)para eettee

 

 

Speaking/Comprehension

 

1. Do you speak English?                     Vi gavareetye pa angleeskee?

2. Could you speak more slowly?          Gavareetye pazhalooysta myedleeney

3. My Russian is bad                           Ya plokha gavaryoo pa rooskee

4. I understand                                   Ya paneemayoo

5. I don’t understand                           Ya nee paneemayoo

 

 

Days, Months, Seasons

 

1. Day                Den

2. Week              Nedelya

3, Month              Mesyats

4. Year                 God

5. Monday             ponedelnik

6. Tuesday            vtornik

7. Wednesday        sreda

8. Thursday            chetverg

9. Friday                 pyatnitsa

10. Saturday            subbota

11. Sunday              voskresenie

12. January              janvar

13. February             fevral

14. March                 mart

15. April                   aprel

16. May                   mai

17. June                  iyun

18. July                   iyul

19. August               august

20. September         sentyabr

21. October              oktyabr

22. November           noyabr

23. December           dekabr

24. Spring                 Vesna

25. Summer              Leto

26. Fall, Autumn        Osen

27. Winter                 Zimá

28. Today                  Sevodnya

29. Yesterday             Vchera

30. Tomorrow              Zavtra

31. Birthday                Den rozhdeniya

32. Happy Birthday!      S dnem rozhdeniya!

 

I hope you had fun learning some Russian words today. ‘Paka’ for now! :)

 

Sources:

http://www.langage.com/vocabulaire/learn_russian.htm

http://masterrussian.com/blbasic.shtml

http://learnrussian.rt.com/speak-russian/russian-for-kids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_language

 

Image Courtesy of Paul Martin Eldridge / FreeDigitalPhotos.net