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 popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
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!
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Wojtek: Adam, will you be watching in a few hours the football match between our national teams?
Jun 28, 2018 20:27:10 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy birthday to two bilingual monkeys: Adam Beck's daughter Lulu (14) and mine (8).🎂
Jun 29, 2018 23:10:16 GMT 9
Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9