Reading in Second Language to Achieve Bilingual Goals
Books, like music, in your child’s second language are great resources to support your bilingual action plan . And my 4 year old, like most children, loves all books.
My wife attended a program with the Canucks Family Education Centre to help parents get their kids excited about reading. One piece of advice that we picked up there was that whenever possible you should never say no to a book. Instead we should nourish her curiosity and not say, for example, “that book is for boys” or “that’s a baby book”. We took that advice to heart, which is why we have come home from the library with huge encyclopedic volumes about princesses, small french chapter books, books in languages that we don’t read, among others. We have only applied this advice at the library and thrift stores, because it would be financially difficult to say yes to all the books at the bookstore!
Reading is going to be a big part of our bilingual action plan – our daughter is very interested in all books and we hope to find ways to keep her interest as she gets older.
Language Learning with Picture Books
Reading (or looking at?) picture books with your child in their second language can be an amazing learning tool. The pictures help with comprehension and you as a parent have more flexibility to elaborate on the story and enhance their vocabulary more so than with books that have more text.
Recent studies have shown that books without words enhance language learning because the reader tends to use more complex vocabulary. Books without words are great for bilingual children because they can be read in any language and can be read over and over again with a different story each time!
Where to Kid’s Find Books in Other Languages in Vancouver
Just like fellow Esperanza Education teacher Roma, my daughter adores the library. Thankfully there are a number of libraries in Vancouver that have kids books in Spanish – one of the 16 languages in the Vancouver Public Library’s multilingual collection.
I recently checked out the store World Kids Books in International Village on Pender Street. With a great selection of books for kids in French, Spanish, Russian and English, fair prices and friendly staff – this store is a great place to find books for bilingual children.