All posts in Teaching Kids Foreign Languages at Home

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

This is my third bilingual Spanish book list. Author Derek Taylor Kent wrote the first one. The second bilingual Spanish picture book list is from illustrator Wendy Martin. Today’s list is my own, the result of a pile of bilingual books that I’ve been saving for six months, and the books I read to create a Mexico picture book list.

What bilingual Spanish books do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Hot of the Press!

Marisol McDonald and the Monster by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Marisol McDonald likes being mismatched but she doesn’t like monsters. After hearing a noise under her bed, she’s certain there’s a monster there. She figures out her own solution to her phobia, but it turns out that the noise has a more prosaic explanation. And now, she has two companions under her bed at night. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Mama the Alien by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Laura Lacámara

It’s a case of mistaken identity. Sofia finds Mamá’s identification card in her purse and discovers that she’s an alien. Sofia now believes that she’s half alien and gets to work to figure out what this might mean. What language does an alien speak? Will space ships land in her yard? Does she have hidden alien body parts? Finally, her parents realize what Sofia thinks and explain their reason for celebration. Mamá is becoming a citizen! Her old card was a Resident Alien card, which has been renamed Permanent Resident. This a humorous picture book to discuss the process of Naturalization with kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Top 10: Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

10. Olinguito, from A to Z! by Lulu Delacre

Join a zoologist in the cloud forest as he searches for the elusive olinguito. The Spanish version showcases alliteration, while the English version tells an alphabet story of the animals in the enchanted forest of Ecuador. Together, both reader and scientist discover a new species of raccoon-like carnivores … the olinguito! [picture book, ages 2 and up]

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Mother's Day Card in Chinese

My Mother’s Day Card in Chinese Makes Me So Happy!

Grasshopper and Sensei started learning Chinese when she was in kindergarten. My neighbor tutored Chinese so it was easy to slip this in. I thought we were all set but then she moved away by the end of that school year.

Mother's Day Card in Mandarin Chinese

To continue their Mandarin, I put my girls into Chinese school for adopted Chinese babies. No one speaks Chinese at home. I was in Chinese school for one year when I was in elementary school and my siblings and I were the ONLY kids who spoke English at home. It was not a great experience.

After two years of this Chinese school, my girls wanted out. I hired another Chinese tutor who evaluated them to see what they knew. It turns out that my kids only knew how to count to 10 in Chinese. How could this be? I had sat through those Chinese classes while the teacher drilled flashcards covering the colors including silver and gold! They had been taking Chinese for more than three years!

Mother's Day Card in Mandarin ChineseRead more…

Giving Your Child Another Language (even if you don't)

Giving Your Child Another Language Without Knowing It

Judy Martialay, author of ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, is my guest author today. She’s giving ideas of how to introduce another language to your kids at home even if you don’t speak a second one (like me)!

Hola! Let's Learn Spanish

Giving Your Child Another Language, Even if You’re Monolingual 

Do you want your child/children to be ready for the global world of the 21st century? Here is a gift that you can give to the child/children in your life that will last a lifetime: an early start in learning a language.

Giving Your Child Another Language (even if you don't)

Consider the benefits of knowing another language: direct communication with millions around the world; understanding, appreciation and respect for other cultures as well as our own; increased tolerance for diversity abroad and at home.  There’s more: better and more opportunities for employment; broader perspectives; better understanding of international affairs; delay of onset of dementia for up to five years. Read more…

Feb 8th, Year of the Monkey! Chinese New Year Crafts, Books and More!

Feb 8th, Year of the Monkey! Chinese New Year Crafts, Books and More!

Janet Wong has a great post at Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog on Lunar Year Traditions that span many Asian countries, not just Chinese New Year! But if you are thinking of doing it up for Chinese New Year but need some ideas, I’ve rounded up my posts.

If you need a picture book or two specifically on Chinese New Year …

Top 10: Best Chinese New Year Books for Kids (created during Year of the Dragon, my year)

Top 10: Best Chinese New Year Books for Kids

If you want to hand out Red Chinese Envelopes (craft included to make your own) and wondered what the meaning is …

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Teach Kids Spanish with Lil Libros board books

Teach Toddlers Spanish with Lil Libros

No one in my family can speak Spanish but we’ve been trying for more than ten years to learn to converse. Our efforts have gone in waves of high effort and burn out but we are now at a good place where my kids actually want to go on immersion trips to learn to speak Spanish.

They weren’t always so enthusiastic about learning, however. And their lack of effort resulted in very little retention. Still, I don’t consider the lessons they took to be a total loss; the two youngest kids can roll their “r’s.”

It’s been my experience that learning a language when you don’t speak it yourself requires stealthiness. You need to keep the kids exposed more than just weekly tutoring sessions and it has to be fun or they will resist.

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10 books to expose kids to foreign language giveaway

10 Books to Expose Kids to a Foreign Language: HUGE GIVEAWAY

The summer is a great time to expose kids to a foreign language. I received a huge box of books from Tuttle Publishing that are perfect for this and I am giving most of them away. Please see the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

What languages would your kids be interested in? Are you using any great sites, books or videos? Please share! Read more…

Colita Rosita, Spanish songs for kids

Kids Can Learn Spanish Through Songs

I’m trying to get back in the swing with Foreign Language exposure again this year. We fell off the wagon last year. We lost our Spanish tutor due to scheduling conflicts and commute distance and we could not squeeze in Chinese with the soccer schedule. Grasshopper and Sensei took Chinese in Middle School again (year 2) and PickyKidPix did a few months of classes with a new Spanish tutor whom she really liked. Not optimal but it was the best we could do. PickyKidPix will be taking Spanish this fall in Middle School.

My 8-year-old son did nothing and, as a result, promptly forgot every word of Spanish and Chinese he ever knew. Seriously. I asked him to translate a few colors in Spanish — it came up but I don’t remember why — and he got 100% of them incorrect. Easy ones too, like verde (green) and azul (blue) which he used to know because they are his favorite colors.

Ah well. What can you do? It goes in and it goes, just as quickly as the moving tide, back out again.

When Little Seas emailed me with their Colita Rosita videos, I thought music to get my kids exposed to Spanish is not a bad idea. Ease them in gently. But then I had trouble translating the music so I asked for lyrics. And I also needed them in English. I don’t love animated computer graphics in picture books but I’m ok with them for Spanish language videos for kids. Read more…