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 popular 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. Please support The Bilingual Zoo through Adam's Patreon page www.patreon.com/bilingualmonkeys.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9
Raquel: That's cute, Mayken. I hope you enjoyed all that extra free time.
May 29, 2019 18:17:39 GMT 9
SheilaC: I am concern about our upcoming big change to Public school with all English teaching and minimal Spanish. We have been lucky until now with Spanish speaking Nanny and Spanish immersion preschool. We are doing 2-day per week with Spanish after school.
May 31, 2019 10:51:49 GMT 9
Amy: @sheilac, I suggest you create an actual thread on the "Questions & Concerns" board, so fellow Zoo Keepers can help you with your concerns. 256 characters is too little to discuss something that is so important to your heart
Jun 2, 2019 23:44:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for that very interesting and timely post - it justifies the large order for ml books and DVDs I'm about to place in view of my daughters upcoming birthday!
Jun 3, 2019 23:46:00 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great to hear this, Mayken! And happy birthday to both yours and mine! (They have the same birthday, don't they?) And if anyone missed that post, here's the link once more...
Jun 4, 2019 8:03:42 GMT 9