I had a little idea 2 years ago that would not leave me alone...so I am doing something about it now and I'm loving every minute of it!
The idea involves helping little linguists learn the alphabet. This was a challenge my daughter faced as a result of her 2 languages using the same letters etc. What was significant about her experience was that I felt it was the first time she had negative thoughts about her bilingualism as she seemed to realise for the first time that having 2 languages makes things a little tricky sometimes. I am always determined to avoid negative thoughts about her languages so I could not rest until I came up with something to help! Then, as I have family and friends experiencing a similar situation with other languages, my idea grew into a lovely project which has kept me sane on many occasions!
Although I am not quite ready to share my project yet, I am close, and that is why I am posting here as I need to be held accountable for this. I am working hard on it but the final steps seem to be taking me far longer than I expected. I need to make some progress!!!!
So there it is--I will have to keep you posted now!
Thank you for reading
ps--my project is relevant to the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and also Italian, Danish, possibly Catalan & Galician
Una, your project sounds exciting and I wish you all the best with it! Yes, keep us posted on your progress! I look forward to learning more!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
Also very curious to hear this idea! I am also teaching my 5 year old (and my young students) the alphabet in French. It can be tricky since they already know the letters by a different "name." G and J are particularly challenging!
My daughter has been learning the German names for the letters with the alphabet song, of which I found several versions on Youtube. (I discarded those by non-native speakers.) She keeps singing it and frequently requests the videos.
Hopefully that'll give her German letter names a head start on the French ones which she'll learn at school at some point.
Thank you so much for your posts and sorry I haven't replied before...I have been busy working on my 'project'! I'm afraid it's not actually a method for teaching the alphabet, it's more a resource that you can use to simplify things a little and let the child figure things out for themselves...I will tell you all about it soon! It is a very simple idea but a lovely illustrator has made it really nice so it hopefully can compete with all the monolingual stuff out there!
Jana--my little girl also has issues (in French) with G and J along with E and I! It is confusing even for me sometimes! Mayken--I wonder is the German alphabet song the same melody as the English one? In French there is a version with the same tune as the English one but I also found one with a completely different tune which we tend to sing here so that the 2 alphabets are distinctive. I think we will also use the one with the same tune in the future when the letters are more clear in my daughters head...she can then compare the pronunciations and hopefully get some clarity!
Hi everyone! Well I have been working hard on my little idea and it is almost ready! It is a multilingual alphabet with 26 objects that start with the same letter in 6 different languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and German. Not really a new idea, but I believe extending it to 6 languages is a first (plus even with just 2 languages it's not easy to find). The 26 objects are a nice selection of things that children from all around the world would like to learn about and cute original illustrations (not by me!) have made it really nice! So this alphabet works for any combination of these 6 languages, simultaneously. (I also have a solution for Italian with all except Spanish...)
In our house this alphabet has made a real difference to my little girl...now, both mom (speaking English) and Papa (speaking French) can use the same object and the same poster when talking about a particular letter. I've also given it to 2 immersion schools here and they have loved it--it just simplifies things a little and is very encouraging as the child has a good chance of getting something right...
My main motivation for doing all this was that I witnessed the first negative thoughts about being bilingual when my daughter began learning to identify letters. She continually got confused when u was for umbrella one minute but it was p pour parapluie in French. I really hope this alphabet will help maintain a positive attitude to language so our children continue to love and speak them!
I am working hard to find a way to make these posters available worldwide but that takes a little planning! If you would like to find out more you can join me on facebook--I am called 'LoveYourLingo'! Thank you so much Adam for giving the go-ahead to link here! If anyone interested is not on facebook please do send me a private message and I will let you know more. www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Your-Lingo/1467597723459283
This is all new to me! and very exciting! It has also kept me sane over the last 6 months and has been an absolute joy to work on! Thank you so much for reading all this! Una
Well I am finally surfacing after an intense 6 weeks! As some of you know, I funded the first production of 'The Little Linguist's Alphabet' on Kickstarter and wow, what an experience! It was a real roller-coaster and I was exhausted by the end of it, but so excited too as it is now full speed ahead! I have some work to do on the final design and the illustrator will do one or two more images but the end is in sight. It will be available in a poster form and an ebook with audio.
***THANK YOU*** so much to all of you who helped me along the way. The Kickstarter link was shared a lot (over 1000 times on facebook!) so I know there must have been people helping me all over the world and I truly appreciate that!
If anyone would like to know more about the alphabet and when it will be available please feel free to visit www.loveyourlingo.com.
I feel very lucky to have something so rewarding to work on and I truly hope it will help our little linguists keep speaking their languages!
Nellie: My daughter came home from school with her first "naughty word" in French (caca boudin)! I guess this means she is now officially integrated!
Sept 22, 2017 5:54:43 GMT 9
Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9