Monday, June 23, 2008

How to Read to Your Child--In Any Language

Check out this article on reading to your child multilingually. This can seem like a daunting task when you yourself don't speak the language fluently, but remember the mere act of cuddling on a sofa, opening up a book and having book fun with your child will do wonders.

I like to suggest getting bilingual books so that you can read the book several times in English first. Then, at another time like your Spanish Time! you can read the book in Spanish. If you're not comfortable reading the book word for word in Spanish, do a "picture walk." Name things in the book or point out the actions (eg. What is he doing? Running. Corriendo.)

Reading, for very good reasons, is near the top of every parent's list of educational goals and concerns for their young children. Parents know that encouraging their children to read and fostering a love for reading is fundamental to future enjoyment and success in school and extra-curricular learning.

Reading and books are so important and so powerful that the presence of many books in the home is statistically a better indicator of future academic success than parental occupation, education or wealth. According to one Princeton University study, 'scholarly culture, as indicated by home library size, in the family home gives children a significant, and generally substantial, edge in academic performance… Having a large home library is important on its own.'

So wouldn't it make sense to incorporate reading as an important part of learning a second language? The same benefits which children get from learning to read in their first language are just as available—and just as important—in a second language.

The good news is that parents can do a lot to help their children claim these benefits in a second language. And they can do so by following many of the same strategies and much of the same advice that works so well for learning to read in the first language. (Read more)

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