What is a bilingual book?
A bilingual, or dual language book balances the use of two languages on one page. The parallel text provides a child-friendly bridge to reading and speaking in another language.
They are widely recognised as a valuable resource for parents and educators to use with children.
How to read bilingual books?
Read the story aloud in the child’s main language first, to get to know it. Treat it like any other story book, look at the pictures, talk about the story and characters etc. Understanding the story in the stronger language first helps to learn the weaker language.
Go back and read the story again, this time in the second chosen language and again in the first language. Don’t worry if your pronunciation isn’t quite correct in a weaker language, just have fun trying it out. The idea is to stimulate curiosity and interest in the second language.
When you think you and your child are ready, you can try reading the story in the second language only. Ask them to read it with you if they are keen to try.
Above all encourage your child to have a go. Young children are usually quite unselfconscious and this is excellent for building up confidence in a foreign language.
Remember, having fun is the most important part of learning a language. Bilingual books provide a good base for this on many levels. Comparing the words, the different sounds and showing the new letters in a language’s alphabet are just a few ways to make languages fun and exciting.
Why use bilingual books?
Bilingual books can help children to become multilingual or to support transition from one language to another. They provide parents the opportunity to offer something to the child in which they are experts: their language!
Our books are available in any combination of the following languages:
English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai.
Infancy and early childhood are critical periods for language development. During these periods, all children have their highest potential to learn multiple languages.
Current research has confirmed that bilingual children learn faster, and that learning languages can support learning in other areas.
Bilingual books also help adults with their own vocabulary building and reinforcement of their non-dominant language.
We hope you and your child will enjoy reading the stories in your chosen languages together.