Bilingual Avenue with Marianna Du Bosq (general)

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Syndication

We spend a lot of time talking about the things we should do and should try with our bilingual kids to help them on their language journey. But have you given some thought to the things that you should not do? I am going to share the one thing I NEVER want you to do with your bilingual kids. I never want you to bribe your bilingual kids to speak the target language.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_176_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

No, your bilingual child is not confused! In this episode, we'll cover common misconceptions about bilingualism and "confusion." We'll break down what it means to "code switch" and what it menas to "borrow" from another language. This episode will put your mind at ease, it's a good, tune in!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am EDT

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_174.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:47am EDT

On this episode, I share how you can bring literacy in your target language to your home for your kids! We talk about how to plan, how to create routines and how to make time in the day.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_173.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode, I share my best and favorite games for teaching bilingual kids vocabulary and grammar. They are fun, engaging and easy to find wherever you are in the world!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_172.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, we talk strategically about how bilingual parents can create a need to use a language. This is part 3 of a series on how to get your kids to speak more of your target language.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, we talk about the importance of exposure and how to make sure that you are creating plenty of opportunities for your kids to get exposure in your target language.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_170.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, we start a three part series on how to get our kids to grow from passive to active bilinguals. In other words, we do not want them to just listen and understand what we say. We want them to actively speak and engage in the target language.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share with you 5 fun and easy ways that can help you celebrate the bilingual journey with your family. Make the commitment and just set some time aside to chat with them about what it means to be bilingual.

Direct download: Episode_169_new_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:43pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host a consulting call with one of our members, Bruna. We address and plan some of the upcoming changes that Bruna's little one will experience at school and even at home with a third language. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_167.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:48pm EDT

On this episode, I share strategies that you can use when teaching Spanish to elementary students. Listen up to get the scoop on some of my favorite methods to get kids this stage to stay engaged! 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_166.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of the  podcast, I tell you about a survey I am doing and  share with you top episodes you may have missed and are most certainly worth listening to, not once but twice! 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:59pm EDT

On this episode, i share five easy strategies to teach preschoolers Spanish.  We also talk about what you can expect during this age group so you know how to maximize your time with your kids. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34am EDT

On the episode, I have a consulting call with one of the members from the Bilingual Avenue Members' Club. We talk what about you can do when there are not many people in the community that speak your target language, discuss  resources for teaching reading and writing in Spanish and even talk about other podcasts in Spanish. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode, I discuss my favorite strategies for learning toddlers learn language. i also give some examples of the toys i have used in the past to help with each of the strategies. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode, I interview 123 Andrés and Cristina to chat about the beautiful musical work that they are doing for bilingual kids around the world. Tune in to get inspired and get to know this rockstar  for little l language learners. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41am EDT

You can teach baby Spanish by setting a strong development foundation from the early days. A baby’s brain has the ability to grow at an outstanding rate! Babies are amazing! They have so much to learn in that first year of life. I have personally found the first year with each of my little ones to be very challenging while very rewarding at the same time.

There is a lot happening in their little brains. The seeds for language development are already being planted well before they even utter the first word. We as bilingual parents can start helping them develop these skills from the very beginning.

I want to share with you some toys that can help you teach baby Spanish.  You can use them for other target languages as well since they all help to work on foundational skills.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this special episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share with you my personal struggles around language and how my family and I handled our ups and downs. I also share with you my lessons learned and how it led me to create Bilingual Avenue. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_159.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm EDT

Teaching your kids Spanish seems daunting but with a combination of mindset and action you can establish a strong foundation for your kids’ language journey.  You can do this whether you are teaching your kids your native language or whether you are choosing to pass on to them one that you learned later in life and may not even speak all that well. Check out this episode to get some easy tips!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_158.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share activities that you can carry out at a bilingual play date.

Let’s talk a bit about how children of different ages play. This will help you with your planning and to make sure that you are meeting the needs of your participants.

Play date activity tips by age group

0-2 year olds

Kids at this age learn by exploring with their hands and mouth. They absolutely love to bang, throw, drop, shake and put things in their mouth. Now I understand you don’t necessarily want a bunch of toddlers throwing and banging things around your house. But you can include things like sensory bins for them to play. Add some toys that can help you work on target words in the bin to make sure you incorporate some language. Keep in mind that toddlers will generally not play with another child but instead play in parallel.

 

3 – 5 year olds

Children this age love imaginary play which is great because there is so much you can do here to work on language skills. Create activities that tap into children’s fantasy play and imagination. The best part about this age group is that they are much more likely to interact with other kids. My kids have both loved to interact with play little kitchens which is great because you can incorporate lots of vocabulary around pretend food and pretend cooking. You can also adapt this activity for different ages.

6 – 9 year olds

Little ones at this age are able to create deeper connections with friends. However, with deeper connections also comes conflict. Be aware that while hosting a play date this age there could be some arguing. This is generally because children in this age group are much more competitive and can get very disappointed if they lose.

Therefore, avoid activities that involved winners and losers. In fact, for this stage I recommend having one friend over for a play date. Keep it even smaller than before to reduce the likelihood of arguments. Dress up for example is fun for this age group and there is no competition. It also allows for some very natural ways to introduce vocabulary through articles of clothing.

 

10 -14 year olds

Older kids can enjoy play dates too. There will likely be a lot less parent guidance for this group and much more free play. Keep in mind that peer pressure has a big influence with kids this age. Silliness comes in super handy with this group so consider that when planning your activities.

So what do you think? Are you up for the challenge? Don’t overthink it and host one. They will only get better with time and you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EDT

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.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

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!

  1. Nursery rhymes provide the opportunity for lots of repetition which in turn builds on your child’s memory skills.  Memory skills are critical for language learning since our little ones have to remember all the new words they are learning throughout their day.
  2. Songs can also help preserve culture through generations!  These tunes get passed down from grandparents to parents to kids creating a connection that travels across decades.
  3. Music is just fun! There is also something highly satisfying about indulging in the auditory sense. You will often find me break into song when my kiddos are not having the best of their days. Almost always, like magic, it can turn their frown upside down.

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?

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

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!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

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.
Personal Accountability
Leveraging personal accountability essentially means that you are accountable to yourself. You could, in other words, consider this your will power.

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
Think of external accountability as an individual or a group that helps you achieve your family’s language goals.

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.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_152.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

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

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_153.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Aimee Helfand, the creator of BabyLeague and Famileague on her approach to raising a bilingual child as a single mom. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_151.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24am EDT

On this episode, Todd and I give you a recap of our year as a bilingual family. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_150.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Laura and Abner Solano about their language journey.  We discuss podcasts, learning targets for bilingual kids and how to avoid the most common pitfalls for bilingual families. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_149.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share 18 tips from the Bilingual Avenue Advent Calendar.  These are quick, fun and easy tips that you can easily implement at home any time of the year.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_148.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Jennifer Langkjaer from Parenting Abroad about her parenting experience with multilingual children in  Switzerland. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_147.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I walk you step by step through how to make your very own audio book.  This is specially a great resource if you have a hard time finding books in your own target language. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_146.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host a consulting call with a Bilingual Avenue Member.  We talk about school choices for bilingual families, accents and who involved we should be in supporting the community language. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share 6 tips specifically for parents who sometimes feel awkward when speaking the target language.  These are great ideas to get you going and feeling more confident! 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with the creator of Mama Lingua about her personal experience raising bilingual kids in a non-native language.  We also talk about the wonderful app  that she has developed for other non-native parents!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I talk about language plans and what you need to have in yours!  Don't delay, get started on a plan and give yourself some direction as to what to do next to help your kids on their language journey. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

On this episode of the podcast, I host a consulting call with a Bilingual Avenue member.  We discuss a wide set of activities that parents can implement at home with their kids to add rigor to their children's language learning experience. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_141.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EDT

In this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat about speech and language delays.  Should you worry that speaking more than one language will impact your child's speech and language development?  If you are have any concerns at all, you'll want to tune into this episode.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_140.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:43pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Nicole Schwarz from Imperfect Families about some of the struggles we have as parents when trying to do the right thing for our children and getting overwhelmed in the process.  Nicole also shares excellent tips for setting personal and parenting goals. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_139.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, we talk about the three must have elements for success on the language journey!  Through my time working with bilingual families I have noticed that those families that are achieving greater success on the journey have 1) set goals, 2) designed a language plan and 3) are surrounded with a supportive community. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host a consulting call with Angelica Engelmann.  We chat about how to teach grammar, support the learning process of the community language and fun vocabulary instruction.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I pick up on our podcast series for how to raise a bilingual child.  We talk about the most popular types of language plans to help you identify one that will work for your family.  If you are on the fence about which language policy to use, check out this free resource to help you decide: www.bilingualavenue.com/languagestrategies

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I provide six steps on how bilingual parents can introduce chapter books to their children. This is a follow on from a previous episode (episode 127) where I chatted with one of the members from the Bilingual Avenue Members’ Club on reading strategies for her children.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_128.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host a consulting call with a member of the Bilingual Avenue club, Amber Money.  We chat about how to make the most out of the language explosion, what to do when children mix languages and how to set expectations around language. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

On this episode of the podcast, I start a three part series on how to raise a bilingual child.  This first part is ALL about setting a strong foundation in your home.  We talk about the importance of increasing exposure, creating a need to use the language and choosing words that are relevant to your child!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_134.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of the podcast, I speak to Diana Sampedro the author of the book Baby English. Diana is a non-native English speaker raising a bilingual child.  She shares her perspective, tips and strategy. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_133.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EDT

Is traveling with kids in the near future for you? Do you have enough tricks up your sleeve?

Traveling can be a great time for a family but there's something about that plane ride that can be somewhat stressful for families especially on long flights.  Check out these ideas to keep you kids entertained while working on language skills!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_132.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Amy Liermann about her family's language journey with her baby.  We chat about how to use motherese in Spanish, sticking to the target language when you are out and about in the community and how to flood her son with Spanish when he come home from daycare. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_131.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I read an excerpt from my ebook The Essential Guide to Raising Happy Bilingual Children debunking seven myths about bilingual individuals.   Are any of these myths holding you back?

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_130.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Kerstin Cable from Fluent Language.  She shares very helpful tactics and strategies for memorizing vocabulary and learning about grammar while having fun. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_129.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host a consulting call with Conchi Manresa, a member of the Bilingual Avenue Members’ Club! We talk about how to transition to a One Parent, One Language policy, strategies for helping her children's reading development and how to maximize a visit from an English speaking au pair this summer. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_127.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a member's question on what kinds of games can be played in the car to infuse language. Tune in to hear 4 games I play in the car and one that I do with my baby as well!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_126.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Adam Beck, the creator of BilingualMonkeys.com and the Bilingual Zoo.  Adam chats with us about his book, Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

On this episode, I answer a future mother who is hesitant about speaking her mother tongue to her child.  Spoiler alert: I challenge her to do it! Tune in to find out why! 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I host the very first consulting call podcast episode.  I chat with Alice Jansen, a member of the Bilingual Avenue Members’ Club! We talk about games for language development, the pros and cons of TV and how to establish a solid foundation for her daughter to learn Spanish!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_123.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21pm EDT

We are a Spanish couple living in a bilingual area where Spanish and Valencian are spoken equally. Our son is 3.5 years old. I have always talked to him in English since he was born. His father has talked Spanish to him. And he has been exposed to Valencian since he was 2 years old, first at nursery school and now at school.

He understands everything I tell him in English but only on rare occasions does he answer me back in English. He says some words in English, but he’s hardly never able to build simple sentences spontaneously. I have used different strategies when he answers me back in Spanish. I usually repeat the sentence in English and then he says “yes”, but he doesn’t repeat them in English.

In the last days I pretended not to understand what he was saying in Spanish to see if I could “force” him to speak English to me. But then he went to talk to his father and asked him the question in Spanish. Sometimes I think he is not getting enough exposure to English. He is at school from 9 to 5 and some days I only see him in the evening for dinner. There the vehicular language is Valencian and he gets two hours per week in English.

My husband is also fluent in English and sometimes he speaks English to him at home. Should he start speaking English to him now regularly? At home or everywhere? Since both of us are Spanish it is a bit weird to speak English with each other. I teach English in a local high school and I feel confident with it, but I’m not sure if my husband could do the same.

Our son has a good attitude towards learning and speaking English. His tales, cartoons and films are always in English and his bedtime stories too. We have planned a summer school in English for him to foster his exposure to English. During the last Easter holidays in which we spent more time together he started to say some short sentences in English such as “I’m ready” or “I don’t know”, etc. but now that he’s back to school he answers me back in Spanish again. Sometimes I feel like quitting speaking English to him, but I’m afraid he’ll lose all that he’s already learned.

What can we do?

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_122.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview fellow podcaster and multilingual mother, Olena Centeno about her language journey and the work she does to support bilingual families worldwide.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_121.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18pm EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share seven tips for finding resources in the target language. 

Question:

Hi there I'm a Venezuelan mother of a three years old boy.  I have spoken Spanish to my son from birth, I communicate in English with my husband, and my husband speaks Croatian to my son (he has no problem with the Spanish as he speaks Italian too and understand most of the Spanish words )

My son speaks Spanish and speaks-understand a bit of English and some Croatian!

We actually live in Australia and it is very hard to find materials in Spanish.  I would love to know where I can find resources in Spanish and how to keep my son motivated ! My son started preschool three weeks ago and sometimes he asks me questions in English, I always reply in Spanish.

Answer:

Thank you Maria for submitting your question!

This is such a common struggle that multilingual families have.  We are working hard to add more exposure to our children and so it often feels like we never ever have enough resources. 

You also have the added struggle that depending on your location in the world, you may have an easier time finding resources in one language versus the other.  

To help out Maria and those of you following along at home who may be on the same boat, I am going to run through a few resources that you can use to help you add a few more items to your toolkit

  1. The first resource is Eulingual.

We had the creator of Eulingual on the podcast, Joanne Wall.  She joined us back on episode 67.  She told us all about how Eulingual is her labor of love where she has over 3,000 links for language learning in twenty different languages including: Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese – Mandarin, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and at the time she was also adding Romanian to the list!

This is a great collection of resources.  You can go on there and dig around for hours and I know you will walk away with some wonderful resources that you can add to your toolkit.

       2. The second resource is called Lingowl resources.

She created this website specifically to help parents looking for language resources to help their children.  It now offers dictionaries, flash cards, games, bilingual books, etc in a variety of languages including Spanish. Chinese, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and several other languages.

I just love this resource because it was specifically inspired to help other parents so I know you’ll find some great resources to help you. 

       3. The third resource is Audio Books. 

If you are a regular podcast listener, you know I love audio books. Even though I talk about them being a good resource I am not sure that I have shared some of my favorite benefits about audio books with you so I wanted to go ahead and list a few and then share with you where you can get your hands on some.

  1. Children can understand language above their reading level when they listen to a story.
  2. Audio books allow you to bring literacy skills into the more mundane parts of your kid’s routine like car rides.
  3. Poetry can be brought to life for children because a narrator can convey timing, tone and rhythm.
  1. Audio books are great at helping children develop listening skills and quiet concentration.
  2. Children can be exposed to other speakers of your target language while developing fluency!

As you can see, audio books are pretty great.  My favorite go to resource for audio books is Audible which is under the Amazon umbrella.  If you head over to BilingualAvenueBooks.com you can get your first audio book free when you sign up for a 30 day membership. 

This way you can see if this is something that your children find interesting although I can already assure you that they will enjoy it. 

BilingualAvenueBooks.com is an affiliate link so if you choose to sign up for the Audible membership through that link I will get a small commission but it is at no cost to you.

       4. The fourth resource is a multilingual alphabet.

 Since you are in Australia, I just have to share one of my favorite resources for multilingual families which was developed in Australia and that is The Little Linguist Alphabet from LoveYourLingo.com!  It’s a multilingual alphabet which has 26 objects that all start with the same letter in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Dutch. 

Maria, I know you have added Croatian as one of your family languages but this alphabet will come in handy when working in English and Spanish. You mentioned your son is three and so likely letters are a big part or will soon be a big part of his world so an alphabet is certainly going to be handy.

       5. The fifth resource is apps. 

Our children are digital natives and if we use apps with a purpose we can make sure our little ones are learning language while they are at it.

My two favorite in Spanish is Stories by the folks that created Gus on the Go and then Mundo Lanugo.  I’ll include links in the show notes to the episodes where I talked to each of the creators of these two apps.

        6. The sixth resource is to repurpose materials you already have in other languages.

You can, for example, still leverage books you currently have in English and read them to your son in Spanish.  Although my hunch is you are probably already doing that.

But how about games? Find one game, if you can a new game, and set the expectations that the game has to be played in Spanish in order to play it.  Find a simple game so that your son is not caught up trying to understand the rules of the game and can instead focus on using his Spanish. 

In our home we do this with Candy Land and it’s a big hit. We also play memory only in Spanish.

Take a look at everything you currently have and challenge yourself to see how you can infuse some Spanish into it.

Keep in mind that playing is a huge component of how our children learn language.  We often overlook this but with you as the Spanish speaker, try to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day where you can spend uninterrupted time just playing with your son in Spanish.  It is without a doubt one of the best things you can do for his language development.

           7. The seventh resource is to ask around!

Ask on the multilingual Facebook groups, online, friends and family what they are using.  I am often surprised when I dig around Twitter and Instagram and see just how many resources there are out there.  We just have to dig and that digging process can be overwhelming.  If you know anyone else that is working on Spanish, see what is working for them and your children and I am sure you’ll get some great ideas as well from others that are doing the same kind of digging that you are!

Alright Maria, I hope you found these resources helpful and that you get a good start for some ideas.

As the one working on the target language in my home, I know how hard this process can be and I know that you will certainly enjoy those resources to the max when you get your hands on it.

If you have a question that you’d like answered on the show, leave me a message on the Bilingual Avenue contact page.

You can check out the resources to this episode at bilingualavenue.com/episode120

May you have fun travels on your language journey. Hope to see you again on the Avenue.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_120.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Lorraine Ladish about the challenges of raising bilingual children.  She shares her particular struggles while also providing great advice and perspective on overcoming common challenges when raising bilingual children. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_119.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

On this episode, a father wonders what language policy would work best for his family. Should they consider the Minority Language at Home strategy to increase the exposure? Or should they give the One Person, One Language strategy a shot?

I share my thoughts on what is more important quantity or quality of exposure!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_118.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Kimberly Scanlon about some of her favorite strategies to promote language development in toddlers! She shares wonderful ideas to help our children express themselves and have fun with language.

Kimberly chats with us about:

Her professional background and how much she enjoys work with parents of children birth to three year olds;
Her book My Toddler Talks all about how to build communication skills in toddlers;
How play and language development go hand in hand for children;
What parents can take away from observing their child play with their toys;
The benefit of creating a predictable routine for children and how they can boost language;
The value of doing silly routines with younger children;
The benefits of speaking to your child in a sing song manner;
How giving your child choices instead of open ended questions can help to get your child talking;
How anticipation can get your child to use more of their vocabulary;
Some of the mistakes she sees parents make when trying to help their children speak;
The importance of asking for help if you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language development;
What types of goals parents should make for their children’s language development;
Her latest book, “Learning to Read is a Ball”;
Her advice to stay hopeful on the language journey!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I tell listeners about the Raising Global Citizens at home Online Summit!  This is a summit hosted by Multicultural Kids Blog with topics all about what parents can do to help their children understand the world around them! 

The agenda for the summit is as follow:

 

Day 1: Why is it important to raise global citizens?

 

Day 2: How TRAVEL supports global citizenship

 

Day 3: How FOOD connects us in a global society

 

Day 4: How ARTS and CRAFTS promote global citizens

 

Day 5: How PLAY encourageS global citizenship

 

Day 6: The importance of MEDIA, APPS AND BOOKS

 

Day 7: The role of LANGUAGE in raising global citizens

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, Dolores shares with us the importance of putting ourselves out there when raising bilingual children.  By stepping out of our comfort zone we can connect with other bilingual families and expand our network of support and exposure!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_115.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a listener’s question and give her tips on how she can teach her son the gender rules associated with grammar.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_114.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg, the leader of Reading Simplified.  She shares tips on how we can teach our children to read and develop their reading comprehension all while maintaining a love for reading.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_113.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this  episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a question regarding the impact of having a nanny who s peaks the community language on an infant and give strategies the nanny can use to foster language development for the target language.  If you have a little one one or younger, you are sure to get some really helpful tips!!!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_112.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, Elisabeth Alvarado shares her journey as a non-native bilingual mother.  She shares her challenges and her successes and shares wonderful tips for parents raising kids in a language that is not the parent’s mother tongue.

On this podcast, Elisabeth shares with us:

-How she  fell in love with Spanish;
-How languages are managed in her home with the Minority Language at Home strategy;
-How awkward it felt at first to speak a non-native language to her children the first day her son was born;
-How she worked through that first fork in the road where she had to chose between English & Spanish;
-How the effort paid off and now speaking Spanish is an engrained  habit;
-How books have been helpful to add vocabulary to her days  with her children;
-How she  is preparing for when  her children get to the point where they may prefer to speak Spanish to each other;
-Some funny  interactions they have had with others when they are all together as a family;
-A proud parenting moment with family members in Peru while chatting on Skype;

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_111.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share 5 tips (plus a bonus one!) to help non-native speakers help bilingual parents! We cover different strategies to be very intentional on how to add exposure and how to learn more language to keep up with our kids!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Patricia Zaballos, author of Workshops Work!: A Parent’s Guide to Facilitating Writer’s workshops for Kids.  She shares so much insightful information to help our children become writers from a young age.  She breaks down how children really learn to write and lets us know about her very useful blog!  Get ready to be inspired and learn how you can get started with writing at home right away!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_109.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I give 5 tips to a family that is looking for ways to provide additional exposure to Portuguese for their son.  One option they are strongly considering is switching to speaking Portuguese at certain times of the day.  I give her some feedback on that idea and provide a few more strategies.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_108.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview book author and bilingual mama, Mariana Llanos.  She discusses her language journey including the challenges she has faced to help her children achieve Spanish fluency.  She also chats with us a bit about her books available in English and Spanish.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I share with you four fun and easy strategies to get your children to understand and use the past tense in your target language.  We focus on leveraging the power of modeling and create simple routines to encourage children to use the correct grammar structures. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_106.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Kelly Serrano and discuss strategies for promoting an appreciation for reading and writing. Kelly is full ideas for parents of bilingual children on how to support their development of these literacy skills and get the most out of the language journey!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_105.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I discuss the importance of setting family language goals.  I describe the types of goals you can consider setting.  We also chat about The Bilingual Journal and how it can help you on the language journey!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_104.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode Bilingual Avenue, I interview Emma from Lingolised.eu to chat about her multilingual family.  Her family languages include German, English and Hungarian and Romanian! She discusses with us how her family has been able to infuse culture into their everyday lives and the role it has played for learning languages. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a question from a mother who feels that a language barrier is forming between her and her daughter.  She speaks the minority language with her daughter and she worries that her 3 year old's lack of fluency is creating a distance between them.  I share my thoughts on how at the end of the day what our children really need is parenting.  Language is just one of the many aspects of parenting.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_102.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner.  She shares some of her best tips for bilingual families interested in making a trip to expose their children to their target language.  She also has some great insights for listeners on how they can take control of their money by getting organized, spending smarter & earning more.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Michele Cherie & Hanna Cheda about family trips they took during the summer of 2015.  Michele took her three children to France for three months while Hanna took her two children to England for two weeks.  Michele & Hanna shared all the details and logistics of how they made their trips possible. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Becky Morales, the creator of Kid World Citizen, an incredible website offering activities that help young minds go global. Becky shares with us how we can teach our children about world’s culture and how we may be able to even incorporate it into our child’s classroom!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_099.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I give a mother the tools to have an open and honest conversation with her partner on why she feels that her son should be raised in a bilingual environment.  I discuss how the benefits of being bilingual including how it can help support cultural connections and encourage her to dispel any misconceptions her husband may be feeling towards multilingualism.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_098.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Maritere Rodriguez Bellas.  Maritere is a bilingual and bicultural, free-lance writer, blogger and author.   She just recently wrote her first book, Raising Bilingual Children and has a second book about to be released soon called Arroz con Pollo and Apple Pie: Raising Bicultural Children.  She is now working on her third!  To enter to win Maritere’s book, head over to bilingualavenue.com/newsletter

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_097.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I give a mother advice on how to introduce writing for her children.  She is looking for tips to teach writing in the home language which will be different from the one her children are learning in school.  She is also looking for advice on what language to use at home and how to help her children with their homework. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_096.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Amanda Shong-Blahdgett also known as Miss Panda.  She is raising her two children to be bilingual in Mandarin Chinese and English.  Miss Panda is also the creator of the Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda album geared towards young children. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_095.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a question from a father who is wondering if he should be stricter with his daughter since she is refusing to engage with him in the target language.  I give him seven different strategies that he can implement at home.  I also share with him the strategy we use in my family and which one the research has shown to provide the best results for boosting vocabulary. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_094.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Lindsay Dow, a private language tutor and the founder of Lindsay Does Languages.  Lindsay believes in inspiring others to teach themselves languages. Whether that be in a face-to-face lesson with her, or through one of her Skype classes, or one of her blog posts or even one of her videos, she wants you to know that it is possible for you to learn a language!  Lindsay shares 25 different tools to help you and your children learn a language!  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_093.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of the Bilingual Avenue podcast, I share strategies with a listener who is interested in teaching her child two languages, English and Russian.  I explain to her who the One Parent, One Language strategy works as well as the Language Time approach. I also walk her through a series of strategies that she can implement to promote language development for her little one from the early months all the way to the when her child starts making two word sentences.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_092.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Carla Curiel the founder of
Mundo Lanugo.  Lanugo is a Miami-based lifestyle and entertainment brand for preschoolers inspiring Latin at heart confidence and cultural pride.  Carla shares with us how she has instilled a love for her culture in her daughters from an early age and has tips for parents who are looking to do the same. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_091.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I provide advice to a mother who is concerned that she may have waited too long to teach her children Italian.  Her children are 6 and 11 and although they are showing interest in learning the language, she is looking for suggestions on how to pass on the language to them.  I give her some tips on how to motivate older children and find age appropriate content for them.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_090.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Nicola Lathey, one of the top speech and language therapists in the United Kingdom.  She is the author of the prize‐winning and best-selling book, Small Talk.  We talk about how parents can promote language development with their children from birth to four years old.  Nicola shares excellent strategies that parents can implement right away in their daily interactions with their children. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_089.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I check in with a mother who is concerned that her son may fall behind in Kindergarten if he attends a Spanish only preschool.  I describe the different concepts that her child will likely be exposed to in preschool and assure her that many of them will be skills that he can transfer regardless of what language is being used for the instruction.  For the skills that are language specific, I give her ideas on how she can incorporate them at home.  I also share some ideas on how she can partner up with her child’s teacher to make sure she is able to help her son with the transition.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_088.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Brynn Barineau.  Brynn is originally from Atlanta and has a BA and MA in International Communication from American University in Washington DC.  It was while finishing her Masters that she met her Brazilian husband.  Brynn eventually joined her then fiance in Rio de Janeiro and began teaching.  After moving to Vitoria, she taught economics and American literature at Escola Leonardo Da Vinci.  Brynn is currently working on building a career as a writer and publishing her first novel.  She blogs at BrynninBrazil.com  She has a four-year old daughter that she and her husband are raising bilingual in English and Portuguese.

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_087.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I give advice to a mother who is worried that changing her language strategy with her daughter will confuse her.  Currently, they are speaking English at home while her child picks up the community language, Spanish in school.  They will be moving to the United States and the target language and community language will be swapped.  She is concerned that their relationship will be impacted because her daughter feels much more comfortable conversing with family members in English.  I assure her that although it may be difficult at first, her daughter will eventually sort out the shift in language strategy. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_086.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Annabelle Humanes,  a former researcher in language acquisition and language teacher in a previous decade.  She shares with you her tips for getting your hands on children's language development research and shares her personal family language journey which includes four languages!

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_085.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I describe the different types of language school models available to parents including two way immersion, submersion and transitional programs.  I also answer a mother’s concern of whether her child will be able to learn the community language and give her strategies to ensure that he has plenty of exposure in that language. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_084.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This episode is sponsored by Gus on the Go, an great language app for the little ones at home! Visit www.gusonthego.com/bilingualavenue and get access to a special free printable exclusively for Bilingual Avenue listeners.

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, Alice Junglaus, a parent coach, chats with us about her cross-cultural family and how they have followed their dream of living a multilingual, pluralistic and interdependent global lifestyle.  Alice also chats with us about global parenting including what it means and how it can help you and your family! 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_083.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of the podcast, I answer a listener’s question who is concerned that although her family has moved to Taiwan her children may have limited exposure to Mandarin.  She wants to help them to learn Mandarin, however, she already has her hands full supporting her children’s learning of Spanish.  I share my advice on how she can still encourage them to learn Mandarin while maintaining a focus on Spanish. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_082.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Sonia Gil, an entrepreneur, language geek, and passionate traveler!  Sonia is on a mission to show the world how travel can enrich your life without emptying your bank account. She is the founder of the digital language learning company Fluenz and she is also the host of Sonia's Travels, a two time award-winning web original series about Sonia's unique take on the places she visits. Sonia is also the lead behind the non-profit Fluenz.org which we will discuss throughout our interview today.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_081.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I answer a listener’s question who is navigating her son’s transition to the community language.  She is concerned that he will need more exposure to English to make things easier for him when he starts school.  However, she is concerned that if she herself speaks to him in both languages, he may be confused.  I assure her that he will be able to tell difference but encourage her to consider what languages she will want to use when her son has more exposure to the community language.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_080.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Yono Mittlefehldt was born in Israel but grew up in the United States. Yono currently lives in Germany with his wife and his 2.5 year old son who is being raised trilingual with English, German and Hebrew.  He co-created Gus on the Go with Alice Zhao, an app with 10 interactive lessons and 89 words that allow kids to explore vocabulary in a new language.  On the podcast, we talk about Yono’s journey raising a trilingual son and how he is managing to personally pass on two heritage languages at the same time. 

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_079.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, a grandmother is worried that she will have a negative impact on her grandchildren by mixing English and Spanish.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_078.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Dr. Paola Giuli Dussias, a Professor and the Head of the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at Penn State University.  Dr. Dussias describes to us how the brain is capable of managing multiple languages and dispels the misconception that adding a second or third language can complicate our language system.  

Direct download: Bilingual_Avenue_077.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT