Raising a bilingual child? Let DPL help you!
For children to acquire another language it is really important that they are surrounded by it, that they receive tons of input in that language. Besides your oral language and that provided by relatives or friends, literature and materials in Spanish can also really help in your bilingual quest. If you are looking for are books or media, you can browse our catalog to find materials in Spanish to enrich the interactions you normally have with the little ones. From regular books to bookpacks with a CD to go along, you can expose your children to a wide array of vocabulary and also pick up some new words yourself. In my home, there are many nights that we use the book Mis 100 primeras palabras and play I spy to learn new words. Non-fiction books that focus on specific topics like vehicles or nature are also great to discover new words and concepts. Musicians like Jose Luis Orozco can be a great introduction to traditional songs. From rhymes to tongue twisters, adding fun is always a great way to be immersed in another language.
If you want to hear stories and songs from a native speaker, dial 720-865-8500 to connect with Phone-a-Story, a 24/7 service with songs, rhymes and stories in English and Spanish, among others. Stories and songs change every Tuesday.
Another great way of “forcing” yourself to use a less common vocabulary is taking children around the city with the Museum and Cultural Passes that are available for check out at DPL. No matter if you visit a cultural institution or a State Park, there are tons of things to talk and wonder about. How do you say “otter” in Spanish? What is the name of that colorful plant by the trail? Is that bird saying “tweet, tweet” or “pío, pío”?
Besides being exposed to the language, feeling the need to use the language is another important factor to maintain and grow your abilities in Spanish. Here at the library we have many events and programs in Spanish, so the next level of exposure to the language can be attending one of those events. Check out our publication Conexiones, where you can find fun stuff like special programming and Spanish storytimes, or resources for the whole family.
All these services and much more are also explained at our website, www.bibliotecadenver.org and if you want to do further reading on the topic of bilingualism you can check out books like Raising a bilingual child : a step-by-step guide for parents by Barbara Zurer Pearson or Raising multilingual children: foreign language acquisition and children by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa.
Raising a bilingual child is a beautiful and useful goal in a multicultural society and at DPL we are happy to support your hard work with all sorts of materials and resources.