Unlike other dual-language books, the Adventures of Bosley Bear are specifically designed with the intention of teaching young children new words and phrases in foreign languages. The teaching methods used allow children to learn at their own pace and enjoy the learning process.
In the illustration to the right, from the first book, Bosley Sees the World, Bosley wakes up and “He stretched his front paws. He stretched his back paws.” This helps children to identify the repeated words “stretched” and “paws” and also helps the learning process through simple repetition.
In the same say that repeat words are used, opposite words are also a great learning tool. With the same phrase repeated twice in a row, only one word is different “front” and “back”. That calls attention to the opposite word and makes it easy to identify the difference.
The entire story line in any of the books is kept simple, with enough simple phrases to aid in the learning process, but enough grammatical variety to keep the story challenging even for advanced readers and helpful for adult language learners. No colloquial expressions or metaphors are used in the books in order to keep everything very literal and non-ambiguous.
What is arguably a child’s favorite part of a picture book? The pictures!! In Bosley’s books, aside from being professionally drawn, colorful, detailed and engaging illustrations, many of the pages have been labelled to identify objects and adjectives in both languages. Children can enjoy the pictures alone and learn to recognize single words that correspond to the items in the illustration. The illustration below shows a scene from Bosley Goes to the Beach, when Bosley is first discovering all there is to see at the ocean.
Highlighted vocabulary words
Throughout the stories, key words have been highlighted to allow children (and teachers) to easily point out simple vocabulary words. The highlighted words generally summarize the major points of the story so that even very young children can be introduced to the concepts and items in the book. This strategy also helps babies to begin to piece together event sequences.
The interdisciplinary concept of learning words and sounds along with corresponding illustrations is an excellent way of supporting the language learning process. Vocabulary words and phrases will be much easier to memorize and recall given the situational usages provided in the story.
In addition to learning language in the context of a story, each of the illustrations in these books are designed to embody the story line and vocabulary words. This makes it easy for children to follow along with the story and pick up bits and pieces of a second language based on what they are seeing in the pictures.
The Power of Dual Language Books
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.