Smiling like Sunshine: Resources for Raising Multilingual Children {The Children's Bookshelf}

Monday, 21 January 2013

Resources for Raising Multilingual Children {The Children's Bookshelf}

As you may know we are a Turkish family living in the UK and therefore our children speak Turkish at home but they are also learning English at the same time.

When  Defne (6yo),our daughter, was about 2 years old, we were a bit anxious that she would have difficulty when she starts preschool. So we bought a language course for children: Muzzy
It comes complete with DVDs, CDs and books. Muzzy is a character who is learning English.
The quality of the animations is not perfect (I don't know if they have changed it in the meantime,as we bought these back in 2009) but overall the programme is very engaging and both children enjoy it. It is  available in several languages: French,Spanish,German,English,Italian and Chinese.
We all know that young children are capable of learning a language very easily. Unlike adults who need to study very hard, children can absorb a new language in a very short time given the opportunity. Maria Montessori states that children go through a senstive period for learning a lanuage and this periods comes to an end at the age of six. Until the age of six, children can internalize a language easily. As they get older, they need to put more effort to learn another language.
Last year we decided to add a  third language for Defne: French. We  have been studying French using First French with Super Chat. It is very engaging book that teaches through games,activities and songs. I am happy to say that Defne has learnt some French in about 9 months. B small publishing speacilizes in bilingual books so if you are interested, check out their website. She likes speaking with her French friends at school. We don't actively speak French at home but we do read French books that we borrow from the library and sometimes she watches French cartoons. We also have the above mentioned Muzzy set in French. I am sure if it is still available but when we bought it, you could choose a second language for free.

You can see a few pages from the book :

Another tool that we find pretty useful is a box of flash cards: Einfach Alles 

This box consists of 150 picture cards and on the back of each card you have the same word in 6 different languages: Turkish,English,French,Spanish,Chinese and German.

Are you raising bilingual/multilingual children? I would love to hear which books or resources you like. Please share in the comments. If you think about teaching your child another language but don't know where to start, this site has some tips.


The Children's Bookshelf is co-hosted by What Do We Do All Day, No Twiddle Twaddle, Smiling like Sunshine, Mouse Grows Mouse Learns , Mommy and Me Book Club ,My Little Bookcase, The Picture Book ReviewSprout's Bookshelf and Meme Tales. You can also follow our Pinterest Board .

This post is part of The Children’s Bookshelf, a weekly linky party with the goal of connecting parents with great books for their kids. Do you have a book review, literacy or book-related post that you think will be helpful for parents? If so, link up below.

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