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...
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.
**NEW! Bearded Dragon Daydreams Coloring Book, created by me and my son, is now available at booksellers worldwide!** Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9
Amy: Was stunned to hear eldest had an anglophone (ml) accent when she began to read in the ML this afternoon!! Didn't last more than a paragraph until her brain switched language, but chuffed mum here!!
Mar 7, 2020 23:05:49 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter found the secret stash of ml books I'd bought at the closure sale of the ml book store two months ago and hidden away for later. Guess it's a good time for new books now, right?
Mar 18, 2020 5:29:38 GMT 9
Caro C.: My baby (16mo) perfectly knows what "hi5" means and readily shows her hand even when we are not showing our hand first. It feels like the first minor blossom of the bilingual seed.
Jun 1, 2020 13:05:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Caro! Give her a high-five from me! And I look forward to hearing about many more happy developments to come!
Jun 8, 2020 15:12:21 GMT 9