Are you raising bilingual children or working in a multi-language classroom? Or do you want to just share bilingual preschool activities with the young children in your life? When you teach young children more than one language, or speak in a different language from their “home” language, it can help boost their cognition, listening skills, vocabulary, and flexible thinking. It’s even been shown to increase creativity and empathy as children learn more about the world and people around them. Even if you don’t speak more than one language yourself, mixing in some bilingual books or songs in your day can be beneficial. Here are some quick tips to keep language flowing for bilingual children:
- Reading mixed-language or bilingual books. There are lots of easy mixed-language books out there that can be read with toddlers and up. See if your child can listen for the new words, and if they can figure out what they mean.
- Singing mixed-language or bilingual songs. Songs are a great way for children to learn all kinds of things, including new languages. Even listening to music that is in a different language can be beneficial in helping children recognize different sounds, words, and language inflections.
- Mixing both languages in your general speech. If you are bilingual, it is always helpful to use both languages in your home or throughout the day in the classroom. You don’t need to make sure it is fifty-fifty, just keep talking in both languages.
- Keep both languages special! Letting children know that each language is equally special and important can really help engage them in learning. Blend in traditions, culture, and other rituals with each language as often as you can.
What’s the difference between “mixed-language” and “bilingual?” Mixed-language might be mainly in one language, but has some words from other languages sprinkled in. Bilingual is equal in two languages.
For a quick and easy mixed-language song that is just right for toddlers and up, click Hola Animales image below.
For a bilingual story video that is both English and Spanish, click the image below:
For more bilingual preschool activities, follow this blog and the Sharing Circle Education YouTube channel.
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