One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way. -Frank Smith
“B is for Bilingual” was created as an aid for introducing and improving the English and Spanish language for my kids. It has been a great tool for me, and I want to share with you other ways you could incorporate this book into your family learning goals as well as other tools to use to improve your learning another language experience. This book is an investment into your learning experience and to maximize its use I am here to help.
Since this book is an aid and a tool, I am not expecting for older readers to become fully bilingual while reading this book. Our family has used Duolingo app and Rosetta Stone along with the book. (I have not been compensated for mentioning any of these tools). Duolingo is at your own pace and I like that it’s free! Once you need to practice some more, grab the book.
Now here are five creative ways to use “B is for Bilingual”;
- Read it as it is.
This is the easiest, simplest, and most obvious way to incorporate a book. But depending on the age you could read or avoid reading certain parts. For children between 0-5, I recommend reading just the letter and the item word. For the younger audience make emphasis on the sound of the letter. You could point at the colors on the pages and the shapes as well to increase the engagement and learning skills. For these young readers, you might want to keep it short, meaning that you could read part of the book at a time since their attention span is short, about 15 minutes. For older children and even adults, you could start the same way to practice the actual letters and words and then add the description as a study guide and practice for reading to complement any other educational tool you might be using.
- Make it a song
Just like the ABC song, make the book your own ABC song using the English and the Spanish letters. One person says the chant first as the other repeat and moves forward to the next letter and language. For example; one says “A is for airplane (reply- A is airplane), A de Avión (A de avión)…”
- Practice writing
Writing what you learn helps the mind achieve full potential. It allows you to connect the dots. It’s been said that writing is beneficial to creativity and thinking abilities because it requires focusing and reflective thought. It enforces practice and reinforcement of the subject learned. For an early writer, you could have them practice the letters by tracing them. You could use this to emphasize the difference between uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Older readers could write the words in Spanish to reinforce how to write them and have them remember while adding the proper preposition for the word as a way to practice without forgetting the proper punctuation. For example, el avión or la flor.
- Make it a boardgame
Have a fun screen-free time and play a memory game. Use any alphabet cards (or you can make them if your creativity inspires you to). Face all the cards down. As one player picks up a card, he must read the letter in both languages correctly. If he does, he earns another turn. If he fails to say the letters correctly, he must place the cards back facing down and the next person plays. For an older group, more advanced in the language, or for a more challenging game, the players could also be expected to say the word of the item (from the book) in both languages correctly. The rest of the same rules apply.
- Show and tell
Kids (and secretly adults too) love the show and tell! Pick one of the items from the book. Read about it on the book, look for more information on your own and tell the rest of the group why you chose it, what you liked most about it and how you say it in Spanish. This show and tell is a fantastic opportunity for families to get together to learn not only about an item or a language but about each other.
If you’ve found more ways to integrate the book into your learning journey, please share it with me. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Have fun learning!