How Bilingual Books Can Help Raise Bilingual Kids
As a mom of two beautiful children and a native French speaker, I have always had an enormous interest in raising them to be bilingual. I have so many opportunities through being fluent in two languages and want them to be able to have the same benefits. Also, I want them to be able to communicate with my family in Martinique with ease!
When I first started Cali's Books, I knew musical books could be used to introduce young children to the joyous world of language and reading.
Let's look at how to raise bilingual children and how bilingual books can be a great stepping stone on that path!
Raising a Bilingual Child
Did you know that almost half of all US households have languages spoken in the home that aren't English? That's a phenomenal opportunity for learning and bridging the communication gaps of the world.
Sometimes parents trying to raise their children to be bilingual are concerned that their kids may get confused by all the different words being tossed around. Don't worry! Young minds are way more flexible than we think and quickly learn to code-switch.
We know that the critical part of language development is a combination of exposure and need. That means the language needs to surround your polyglots-to-be, and they need to feel as if they need to use it to communicate with others.
Bilingual books are a fantastic way to integrate exposure to different languages into your family's routine.
Do Bilingual Books Work?
Having an arsenal of bilingual books for kids in your home library is a fantastic way to make a second language part of your routine as a family. Often we go through the day and realize that by the time we've come to read-aloud time, we haven't used our secondary language much at all.
When you grab a bilingual book, you won't have to try and find the translations yourself. They're right there for you, and allow your own mind to calm down and rest!
How to Read Bilingual Books
Reading a bilingual book can be done like any other book. A popular method is to read the story in your child's primary language first and then go for the slightly weaker language. This helps them follow the story as they already know it. They won't get bored because kids of all ages learn by repetition.
Don't forget to let them have a go at speaking the foreign language. Comparing how words and sounds are created is half the joy of learning a new language! Remember that you're there to have fun, and don't get strict on pronunciation.
Where Can You Find Bilingual Books?
Thankfully the publishing world is catching on, and you can find beautiful books in multiple languages very quickly.
Cali's Books range of bilingual books has been specially created to combine beautiful illustrations with music and stories. Are you hoping to encourage your little ones to develop their interest in multiple languages? Then our Multicultural Bundle of nursery rhymes is sure to impress. Cultural diversity coming right up!
My personal favorite way to create bilingual books is through our range of recordable books. They allow me to combine some of my children's favorite fairytales with the comfort of my own voice.
How to Turn a Recordable Book into Bilingual Books
This video explains all the steps to easily converting our recordable books to bilingual ones.
The beauty of a recordable bilingual book is that it opens up the possibilities of bilingual books.
As parents who speak multiple languages, you know that the way you speak a language isn't always the same as a different recording. The beauty of hearing your language come alive with your regional dialect is captured with a recordable book.
Freebie Time! We have some free recordable book digital downloads for you to give a try and listen to in the car and before bed. Plenty of time to test our Cali's Books before you choose to buy!
These freebies let you quickly transform your regular, recordable book into a bilingual book. All you need is a little time and some creativity.
The steps to recording are as easy as uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco:
1. Download the audio and text from our website for free.
2. Print the text and stick it on the correct pages.
3. Simply tape the corners, so you can always go back to the original text.
4. Switch your book to MY RECORDING (the switch is underneath).
5. Play the audio file from your phone or record your own voice.
Enjoy the recording together! You can even make it extra special and record yourself in both languages.
That's pretty magical, isn't it? When we first came up with this idea, I ran home from the office to show my kids. They love it! Now your kids can enjoy learning a language with you no matter where you are in the world.
I shouldn't have a favorite book, but I love this recordable edition of Cinderella. Our version is a charming way to get closer to a Cinderella who loves reading and books. You'll find plenty of diverse characters inside as well as lots of magic!
As parents, we all want the best for our kids, which means setting them up with a love of stories and language for the future. Bilingual books make learning an easy part of your evening routine.
I'm off to go curl up with a good book. My little ones love curling up next to me and showing me all the beautiful illustrations in their bilingual books. It's so fun to hear my own voice coming out of their recordable books. They have something special that is unique to our family to hold close.
Why not have a family member that lives far away add their voice to a recordable book? Through the last few years of physical disconnection, we have found that stories and the comfort of one another's voices are more critical than ever.
Hi! I'm Cali, Founder of Cali's Books
“I’ve loved books since childhood and wanted to transmit this enthusiasm to my children”
I'm a mom of two young children who trained as an engineer and worked in investment banking and at Disney. A French of Caribbean origin (Martinique to be precise!), I grew up in Paris. Los Angeles is now the place I call home!
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