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.