Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Read Conmigo, which provides resources for bilingual children, and Latina Bloggers Connect.
Bilingual children: Helping your kids learn a second language
If your family speaks more than one language, learning is a unique adventure, yet it also comes with its challenges. At my house, the challenge is that we always default to English. It’s my native language and the language I’ve always spoken with my husband, yet, in doing so, my daughter is missing an important part of her Hispanic heritage.
I suspect that there are many families out there like mine. There are also families who perhaps only speak English but really want their kids to learn a second language, like Spanish. How can we ensure that our kids are not only being exposed to a second language but incorporating it as an enjoyable part of daily life? Through story time, of course!
Bilingual books are an excellent way to bond with your child while encouraging a love of that second language. That’s where a program like Read Conmigo (“Read with Me”) comes in: it has an adorable selection of free downloadable bilingual books. Totally portable! I love the fact that the app has the capability to read to your child, so if you don’t speak Spanish, no problem! Your child can still enjoy the book and hear it read in both English and Spanish.
Encouraging Latino children’s book authors
Did you know that not even 2% of literature for kids published last year had a Latino subject matter or were published by a Hispanic author? That means that Hispanic culture and society is not represented in the books our kids are reading. Hispanic children will not often see themselves depicted in books written for their age level, and non-Hispanic kids won’t be introduced to the culturally rich Latino stories.
Again, this is where Read Conmigo, which is generously sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, comes in! It’s hosting a contest called “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” for Hispanic authors, who can enter their manuscripts, which must feature at least one “Read Conmigo” character, to be judged for publication nationwide. The grand prize is $1,000. The deadline is October 31, 2014.
Are you raising bilingual children, or would you like your child to become bilingual? Share your questions and tips in the comments section!