I’ll admit, raising a bilingual child is often a difficult task, but with the right tools and resources it is possible to make language learning fun and a little bit easier. Every month, I share ways that you can encourage language learning at home.
You can find part one over here.
Language tips every Thursday on Instagram!
These ways have already been posted over on Instagram, where I share language learning tips every Thursday. If you are not already following us, please do so, as I share about more about our daily life in multilingual and multicultural adventures!
Read bilingual books
Check out bilingual books or buy a few for your home library!
Reading is one of the most important skills required for success in language acquisition and learning. Reading for just 15 minutes everyday consistently not only means quality time for you and your child but it also increases a child’s focus and vocabulary no matter how many languages they are learning.
For example you could read a familiar story in your target language which makes it easier to understand. Or you could point to each color on the page and name the color in both languages. This could apply to any concept.
By reading consistently in another language, a child will start to understand the differences in sentence structure and grammar rules. Also it exposes them to a new culture and way of life.
Learning with Shells🐚
You can discuss many subjects when you use sea shells.
Try to use a variety of adjectives when describing each one.
– Talk about textures – what does it feel like when you touch it? Is it rough or smooth.
– What does it smell or taste like?
– Can you hear the ocean inside?
– What noise does it make when you put two together?
– What colors are the shells? What different shades do you see? Is it light or dark?
– Where does the shell come from – Talk about past trips to the ocean
– Sort and organize by size or shape or color.
– What is this shell’s name? (Perhaps have a guidebook in case you don’t know the names)
We love these type of do a dot worksheets. There are many language learning activities that can happen and many ways to use them like a dot marker or color them in. We usually use manipulatives like pompoms or beads in the dot part.
This time around we used beads and talked about the names of colors in multiple languages. Like can you bring me yellow or find me yeşil (green) or Bleu (blue). We counted the different colors like there is 1 yellow or cinq/beş/five blue. Or I would shout a number and they would put the number of beads on the board.
Even you could label the dots with letters, words or numbers. For example, the child could find the letter a or the word red (with a red bead) or the number 7.
Putting Together Puzzles
One of my kid’s favorite activities are putting together puzzles; one of our favorites is the Space Floor Puzzle by @melissaanddougtoys .
Now on to how to incorporate language learning into putting puzzles together.
📣First, have the child pick all outside corner and straight side pieces together out of the box and then put matching pieces in a pile. Put these pieces together, if the child gets stuck talk about what kind of piece they are looking for.
📣When a child is stuck on putting a piece in, you can tell them to look at the picture or colors on the piece and see if they can find it’s spot.
📣If they are still stuck you could talk about how many of the sides are in or out and see if they can find a part of the puzzle that has similar sides.
📣If it is one of the last pieces that they are having trouble finding the spot. Talk about the direction of the piece, like maybe you need to turn it upside down, to the right or to the left.
Use food as a manipulative in learning activities
Help your children learn to count, add, subtract, make shapes or letters, etc by using snack food as a manipulative like these Fish Pretzels. You could also use pasta, dried beans, pretzel sticks, sugar cubes, anything really that won’t make a mess.
I can’t remember where I found these printables, but I’m sure there are a variety found on Pinterest. Or you could even make your own or not use a printable.