Blog

Five Ways Bilingual Books Promote Literacy


Some parents and teachers are reluctant to use bilingual books with children because they worry that they will only focus on the words in their stronger language. However, when used appropriately, bilingual books can help children master their second language more quickly. In honor of Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month, please find below five ways bilingual books can support literacy skills, encourage dual language learners, and promote an interest in reading.

Improving language skills
Researchers agree that a solid foundation in the home language will help facilitate the acquisition of additional languages. Children who learn to speak and read in more than one language will be able to transfer skills and knowledge between languages and can achieve better fluency in both languages. Bilingual books provide children with the opportunity to read and be read to in their stronger language while at the same time learning vocabulary and sentence structure in the second language.

Enhancing reading enjoyment
The more bilingual children enjoy reading (in either language), the more their overall literacy skills will develop and strengthen in both languages. Bilingual books for young children are engaging, interesting and captivating. Bilingual children look forward to reading good stories over and over again in both languages, which in turn strengthens their literacy even further through repeated exposure.

Encouraging literacy 
Children who feel successful reading in their first language will be more enthusiastic about trying to read] in additional languages. Since bilingual books provide sentences in both languages, children (and adults) can more easily see similarities between words and will be able to compare/learn sentence structure, making them more eager to try out their newfound literacy skills in a second language.

Promoting quality writing 
When children are given well-written bilingual books, they have the opportunity to absorb quality literature in both languages. This is especially important for bilingual children who are developing their literacy skills in more than one language. Quality bilingual books encourage them to build a strong vocabulary in both languages.

Valuing both languages 
When children see their home language written side-by-side with the second language, they will identify both languages as being equally important. This is a key element in helping dual language families feel that their home language is respected and appreciated.

 

Bilingual books should be used in a variety of contexts (e.g. reading out loud, discussing the story, writing about elements from the story). With a supportive, encouraging environment to explore, language learning and reading will be a fun activity for young children.

Interested in winning bilingual books? Enter Language Lizard’s $1000+ Bilingual Book Giveaway at: LanguageLizard.com/Win-Bilingual-Books


Anneke Forzani founded Language Lizard to provide educators, librarians and parents with resources that develop literacy skills among English Language Learners, build inclusive classrooms and celebrate cultural diversity. Language Lizard offers bilingual books in over 50 languages, multilingual audio resources, multicultural posters & book sets, and free lesson plans to support multicultural classrooms. The company also runs a blog for parents and teachers working with language learners and culturally diverse students.

SHARE

Related Resources

August 27, 2020

ParentChild+ MA Virtual Site Visits...

Take look at what ParentChild+ Massachusetts has been doing during these unprecedented times to keep connected with the families they work with:

August 4, 2020

Read’s Initiative 2019-20...

The Reads Initiative has been helping to make significant impacts for families in South Jamaica, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn since 2014. Reads helps to serve the literacy needs of children and families in targeted low-income neighborhoods and ParentChild+ is honored to be a partner. Below you…

July 29, 2020

ParentChild+ featured in The Junior League of Charlotte presents The CRIER Spring/Summer 2020 ...

PARENTCHILD+ by Tammy Stanard ParentChild+ uses education to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families. The organization engages early in life and helps toddlers, their parents, and their family child care providers access a path to possibility. For families living in underserved communities, ParentChild+ is a first…

July 20, 2020

United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas Awards ParentChild+ COVID-19 ...

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA JULY 2020 – Since the COVID-19 crisis began in March, ParentChild+, a leading school readiness organization working in communities furthest from opportunity has rapidly adapted its model to meet the emergent needs of the families hardest hit by the crisis.  ParentChild+’s primary focus is eliminating…

July 9, 2020

Home Schooling: The ParentChild+ program has boosted high school graduation among Philly’s most ...

Malkia Singleton Ofori-Agyekum believes that the messenger makes a difference. “You’re going to take what you hear from someone you don’t identify with versus a person you do identify with in a very different way,” she says. As the Pennsylvania state director of ParentChild+, an early literacy, school-readiness…

April 29, 2020

Laid Off and Stressed: What Do I Do With My Two-Year-Old?...

Tipping Point’s Early Childhood portfolio invests in organizations that provide literacy and parenting support to families with children ages 0-3. Under shelter-in-place, many of these low-income families have endured lost wages, lack of internet access, and overcrowded homes leading to an increase in parental stress. On top of…

April 21, 2020

Financial hardships abound amid the COVID-19 crisis – but it’s important to remember the ...

(Philly Voice) – Parents during the COVID-19 crisis are exhausted. They are struggling to stay safe and work essential jobs, while finding care for their children. They are struggling to maintain normalcy while working from home and juggling child care, home schooling and Zoom circle time. The burnout…

April 20, 2020

Home Visiting Continues — At a Distance...

(Education Dive) – Virtual visits can reach “families when nobody else is,” but experts say it’s necessary to have first established strong in-person relationships. Along the border with Nevada, home visitors in Mono County, California, are parking near the homes of their clients and using hotspots to connect…

March 10, 2020

New Charlotte Group Hopes Books, Toys And Toddlers Can Break Cycle Of Poverty...

(WFAE) – Mecklenburg County is expanding pre-K to get 4-year-olds ready for kindergarten – but what about getting younger children ready for pre-K? A national program that’s moving into Charlotte does just that. Nerys Centeno is one of the local pioneers. On a recent February afternoon, she arrived at…

March 1, 2020

The Best Children’s Books To Celebrate National Read Across America Day 2020...

(Forbes) – March 2 is National Read Across America Day, which encourages students of all ages—especially those without access to books and libraries—to read more. Luckily, there are organizations committed to this initiative year-round. For instance, the New York City-based Pajama Program promotes comforting bedtime routines for children…

February 14, 2020

Malden Family Welcomes Mayor Christenson for his first ParentChild+ Home Visit...

Malden ParentChild+ started in Fall 2019, with support from the Wellington Management Foundation and sponsored by the Malden Public Schools.  Now in its second year, the program is working with 20 families and their two- and three-year-old children, and plans to enroll up to 30 families by the…

February 7, 2020

With Home Visits, Charlotte Effort Boosts School Readiness in a Familiar Setting...

(EdNC) – Natasha Curry didn’t know her 3-year-old son knew what a stop sign was. “He can barely see over his car seat,” Curry said. “It was kind of shocking.” Since Curry signed up for ParentChild+, she has had four visits from an early learning specialist who brings toys,…