The Importance of Read Aloud time in a Bilingual Home
We all know the importance of reading aloud to children, but I feel it is even more important when raising a bilingual child.
Children absolutely love the sound of language before they even notice printed words on paper. Reading aloud stimulates the imagination and also ensures that children are exposed to lots of new words within a short time.
It also has benefits towards behaviour and attention spans. Plus studies prove that reading aloud also shapes their emotional and development behaviours in more ways that language learning and literacy skills can.
Read Aloud Time
I am the person who speaks the minority language in our household and so the importance of our child hearing that language (in our case English) was really important! This is where reading aloud comes into play.
The first three years or Emily’s life I was the only person that read aloud to her during the day and at bedtime and this purely in English. It was so important to us that she got as much exposure to the minority language as possible.
We then introduced her slowly to German books with her dad reading to her. I never read anything to her in German!
Reading aloud can also be used as an understanding exercise. Whenever we read a story/book I then ask Emily to tell me what the story was about in her own words. At this point I do not mind what language that she uses to respond to me, I am just looking for her to show understanding.
Nine times out of ten her explanation is in German, this being her language of choice, and at four years old I am not looking to push her to use the minority language, it’s more important to me at this stage that she understands the words that she is hearing.
Making time to read at least once a day is really important to improve speech and language development. If you are a new bilingual family or just trying to introduce a new language into your home then please take some time out for reading in the minority language or the language that you wish to introduce, you will certainly reap the benefits
In our Blog picture you will some of our favourite reads in English. Emily has over 135 books, but these are the ones that we read over and over again!!
We are a bit of a reading family, my husband reading mostly Non-Fiction related to horse training or politics. I am a reading night owl and tend to read non-fiction related to parenting, education and nature and then on the other end of the scale just to relax Rom Coms or Sports romance and read these well into the night. Please remember that children imitate us, so if they see you picking up a book or your kindle and reading, then the likelihood or your child doing the same is greatly increased!
We have just ordered a couple of bilingual books (which we have never had before). I am really looking forward to these arriving and as soon as we have received them and read them I will be putting a on here on my blog!