Tue, 28 February 2017
A language play date is a great way to add more exposure and create a need for your kids to use the target language! There is something just magical about bilingual kids seeing their peers actively engaging in the same target language.
Personally it has been very useful for our language journey. It is a great way to show my kids the value of communicating in Spanish.
But often times, if we want to get a language play date started, we have to create it ourselves. The planning process can seem daunting and you may be wondering if it’s worth the hassle!
It must certainly is but let me share with you some ideas on how to make it manageable for you and productive for the kids.
Tue, 21 February 2017
Music is one my favorite tools to integrate into the language learning process for little kids. Songs provide a simple, fun and interactive way for children to interact with language and with culture.
There are also many benefits to incorporating music into your language journey. Read through this list and see if you can avoid humming a few of your favorite tunes!
Are you sold on why you need to make this front and center on your language journey?
I know what you may be thinking. Finding music in your target language isn’t always easy! I am hoping I can change your mind after reading this post!
We are so lucky to live in such a powerful digital age withe endless possibilities, one of them being the ability to stream music!
On a previous post, Todd shared how he often listens to Disney Princess in Spanish in the car while driving our kids. He uses a playlist from Apple Music to do so.
This service is amazing because it allows you to stream music found in the app. You can even download it to your phone so you can listen to it on the go.
We use Apple Music but there are many other services such as Spotify, Tidal, Pandora to name a few. Now there are some country limitations. For example, when we lived in Germany we did not have access to Pandora, however, we did have access to Spotify. Your choices may or may not be limited depending of your region of the world.
Perhaps the best part about most of these music streaming services is that they offer access to music from artists from all over the world. This makes it so much easier to find music in the language you are working on with your kids.
For some of these services you can create a personalized list of songs based on artists that you enjoy. You could pick a handful of artists that sing in your target language and the services does the rest of the work for you.
This could be hit or miss based on your language. For example, when my first was born about 4.5 years ago there were only a handful of children's songs in Spanish on Pandora and our list was, therefore, fairly limited but it was still better than nothing.
If you are not using a streaming service to get a better variety of music in your target language I strongly encourage you to do so. Especially since for most of these services if you pay the monthly or annual fee you have the ability to download songs to your phone so you can listen to them with your kids any time you want.
I have a mix of kinds songs in Spanish and a few of my favorite artists. I am not one that gets tired of listening to the same song time after time. However, I do need to sometimes get a break from kids’ music. I can pop in an artist like Franco de Vita and know that the kiddos are still listening to Spanish words even if just passively.
How can you use this tool in your home to infuse more exposure to your day?
Fri, 17 February 2017
A reading routine is essential in any home and arguably even more so in a bilingual household!
Reading aloud to your kids is the most effective and perhaps simplest technique you can use to support your children’s language and literacy skills. Research has found that the number of words that a child knows by the time they enter Kindergarten is a predictor of his or her success. Reading lets you work on your child’s vocabulary better than any other activity.
As bilingual parents, we are always looking for ways to address
A solid and consistent reading routine can help you instill a love for books from an early age. It also allows you to set an example to show your kids that reading can be a pleasurable activity.
As if that wasn’t enough, reading can help your children develop lots of other skills such as phonics, comprehension, storytelling, and even familiarity with printed words.
You probably already knew that setting up a reading routine was time well spent and an investment in your kid’s future.
But my question is, are you getting the MOST out of your reading routine with your kids?
I am going to share some of my best tips for creating a productive reading routine even if you don’t yet have one!
Tue, 7 February 2017
Have you ever thought about how accountability can help you on the bilingual journey?
This month, bloggers from around the world are coming together to write about the fascinating world of raising bilingual kids with topics from A to Z.
Bilingual Avenue is kicking things off with accountability!
It is not uncommon to lack the motivation needed to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. Some days we are full of energy and ready to take on the world. Then on other days those same goals seem simply impossible!
As busy parents, we sometimes let everyday life get in the way of achieving our goals. This is one of the reasons why I believe it is so important to find ways to stay accountable to your family’s language objectives.
There are two main types of accountability, personal and external.
Some of us have stronger will powers than others. I would ask that you reflect on your own ability to carry through your commitments. If you know that you have a difficult time achieving personal obligations, then you may want to set up systems to strengthen your personal accountability.
It can be as simple as writing yourself a letter that you will revisit when you reach tougher times on your family’s language journey. But it can also be as elaborate as drafting a detailed daily routine that includes all sorts of language exposure for your child.
The key here is to find ways to create personal accountability as a tool to help you stay motivated when raising bilingual kids gets tough!
One great way to find personal accountability is to reflect on WHY you want to raise bilingual kids in the first place. Don’t be afraid to dig into your reasons!
To help you think through how you may leverage accountability for your own family, I am giving you a bit of homework.
List three personal reasons why you have chosen to raise multilingual children that can keep you personally accountable to your family’s language goals.External Accountability
This group does not have to be limited to just bilingual individuals. Even your child’s pediatrician can serve as external accountability. Strive to find pediatricians who are supportive of multilingualism. They can help you assess your child’s language development just like they assess other developmental indicators.
As your child gets older, schools can serve as part of your accountability team. When you first start out, you may not know exactly how your external accountability will develop. Give it some time and push yourself to increase this type of accountability overtime.
Just like I gave you homework to dig into your personal accountability, I want you think about your external support network.
List three individuals or groups that will assist in holding you accountable through your family’s language journey.
For more inspiration to raise your bilingual kids, make sure to check out all the other wonderful posts in the A to Z of raising bilingual kids.
Tue, 7 February 2017
On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I help you take action on your language journey by sharing 3 activities you can do with your kids around valentine's day!
Each of these three activities can be adapted for any time of year. The key is to show your kids the power of love, relationships and friendships while working on the target language.
Get your hands on the free printable for two out of the three activities at www.bilingualavenue.com/episode153