I'm mother of a young baby (4 months old), just starting the adventure of raising a bilingual baby. I'm the minority language parent (Italian in Spain). I've read in the blog and in Adam's book that it's very good to read to our children from the very beginning. I was very impressed by Adam's experience of reading aloud to their children from birth!
I'd like to receive some suggestions on what kind of books I could read to such a young baby. Most of the books for very young babies only includes images and are created more to touch than to read. In addition, as you may imagine, my baby can barely keep the attention for more than a couple of minutes.
Any suggestion? I'd really like to create a reading habit in the ml, given that I consider reading important and he'll attend a ML school (no ml schools in my city).
Babies' attention span is very short, and you'll probably have to do several "reading sessions" a day until she develops a longer attention span.
Personally, I find it more comfortable to "hide" behind a text to read than to be creative and make up my own narrative. But my youngest (21 months old) has taught me to be (and your baby will surely do in no time! ) when they start holding the book and turning the pages on their own, you have no time to read a long narrative! So I copy my husband's technique: I just describe the pictures, highlight things that might attract my daughter's interest (e.g: a cat - she's obsessed with them at the moment), talk about the colours...
Hope this can be of help.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Agnese, yes, I began reading to my kids daily, from birth. While it's hard to say how much they could actually focus on the books back then, I don't think that question matters much because this regular effort still paid off in these important ways:
1. It provided my kids with consistent exposure to the minority language, from day one. (Before they could crawl away, they were a perfectly "captive audience," as I simply put them on the floor, on their back, and laid down next to them. Just be careful when holding those heavy board books in the air above your heads! )
2. It created the read-aloud habit for us both--and establishing that early routine for the parent is particularly important, I think.
3. It began the process of bonding over books and nurturing a love for the minority language and literacy.
As to what I read at that time, I would try almost anything for young children, and I would encourage you to explore this process in the same spirit. The more books you read, the more you'll discover what appeals most to you and your son. For us (with English as the target language), that included Dr. Seuss and other books that emphasize rhyme as well as titles by such authors as Eric Carle and Sandra Boynton.
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.
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Raquel: I love it, Mayken! What a sweet lady. I would have listened in and not asked, hehe. Did you use it to show your daughter how useful the ml can be?
Dec 21, 2017 20:35:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, my daughter loved it - both the coincidence, and that this lady was learning our language!
Dec 24, 2017 22:25:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Happy New Year to you all! Let's make 2018 a really good year!
Dec 31, 2017 7:04:50 GMT 9
Joanna: Packing to go home from Canada...luggage scale reading 23 kg of minority language books!
Dec 31, 2017 23:48:06 GMT 9
Amy: Happy new year to all! . May 2018 bring you every success in your bilingual endeavours!
Jan 1, 2018 23:08:58 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy new year to everyone! I shared a little New Year's Eve story in the Snack Bar.
Jan 5, 2018 5:08:21 GMT 9
Mayken: 7yo wrote her Christmas letter in the ml and sent it to Santa's address in our ml country. This week she received his reply - and was somewhat offended that he replied in the ML
Jan 5, 2018 21:47:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's very cute, Mayken!
Jan 6, 2018 7:57:09 GMT 9
Amy: Oh no Mayken!! I'd also feel very gutted in her shoes! Hope he made up for it by spoiling her on Xmas!
Jan 7, 2018 1:12:53 GMT 9
Mayken: He totally did, Amy! Especially her most important wish - the second illustrated Harry Potter (in ml, of course).
Jan 9, 2018 0:06:05 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy 2018!! How come Santa replied in the wrong language? That's weird.
Jan 9, 2018 19:26:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, he gets letters from all over the world at that German address, and I guess the reply is in the language that matches the country fo the child's return address. Next time she'll use my mom's address (if she still wants to write to Santa then).
Jan 10, 2018 0:38:19 GMT 9
Raquel: Mayken, I just was surprised that, reading a letter in a certain language, they would reply in a different one. But if it's an standarized letter, then it makes total sense.
Jan 10, 2018 21:42:23 GMT 9
Mayken: It is. Our local ML Santa, to whom my daughter wrote the year before (in ml) replied in ML too but started the letter with her name. But then he's serving a town of 37,000 people only.
Jan 10, 2018 23:18:32 GMT 9
Raquel: Makes sense, Mayken. Thanks for explaining.
Jan 11, 2018 22:31:51 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter called me out twice this week for using the wrong language with her. The second time it was only one work (number of a métro line).
Jan 12, 2018 0:16:39 GMT 9