All posts in Teaching Kids Foreign Languages at Home

bilingual books for kids

Bilingual Kids? Use books for more fun with Languages!

Please welcome my guest blogger today, Gabriela Simmons, with her post on using books to teach kids another language.

bilingual picture books

Even though I grew up speaking various languages at home, it has not been an easy ride trying to pass these languages to the kids.  I have gained the utmost respect for parents making the effort to help their kids become bilingual, trilingual, etc.  It is simply hard work. I have felt like giving up many times, taking the easier route of speaking to the kids in the language that is easiest for them. However, no matter what try to keep it up as long as you can, you will not regret it in the long term. Read more…

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!

Spectacular Spots/Magnificas Manchas by Susan Stockdale

A beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book of spotted creatures written in spare rhyme. Perfect for kids learning Spanish and for kids who like nature books. The back pages have more information about each animal and the role their spots play in their survival. [bilingual Spanish picture book, ages 4 and up]

My Dad is a Clown/ Mi Papá es un Payaso by José Carlos Andrés and Natalia Hernández

Because this book appeals to both kids and adults, this is an especially good picture book to use for anyone trying to learn Spanish. A little boy is called a clown when his classmate was angry with him. That’s ok with him because his father is an actual clown. His other dad is a doctor, and in watching his clown father at rehearsals, the boy finds a way to combine both professions. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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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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…