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6 Ways Educators and Parents Can Work Together to Reinforce and Encourage Bilingual Literacy With Kids

April 19, 20245 min read

6 Ways Educators and Parents Can Work Together to Reinforce and Encourage Bilingual Literacy With Kids

Bilingual Books are books written in two different languages. They aren’t usually translated word for word, but rather the same story line written in each language.   If they are written well, bilingual books can be a valuable resource for parents and educators to use with children.

Using Bilingual Books with Children

Studies have shown that supporting a child’s home language is very important for enhancing academic performance, even in cases where the language spoken at school is not the same as the language spoken at home. Children do better in school when their parents read to them, communicate, and engage in daily tasks and activities in the language in which they are most comfortable. Bilingual books are a great resource for bridging the two different languages. They offer educators the chance to teach their students in the school language while providing a tool for home language development and parental involvement. Books in two languages can motivate parents to continue interacting with their children in their home language, knowing that it will help their overall language development, and not hinder their school achievement.

How to use Bilingual Books with Kids

Below are 6 ways parents and educators can work together to use bilingual books in the classroom and at home in order to improve literacy skills and encourage cultural appreciation.

1. Educators can read a bilingual book in the school language and then lend it to the child to read in the home language.

In addition to supporting their child’s overall language development, reading at home with parents strengthens the child-parent bond and helps the parent teach about their shared culture and language.

2. Educators can read bilingual books in English and then show students written text in a second language.

Educators can use bilingual stories to familiarize children with other languages that use the Roman alphabet as well as languages with different letters and symbols, such as Spanish, Hindi and Korean. This way, children can better understand that written speech and letters have varied forms.

3. Educators can read culturally relevant bilingual books.

When educators read multicultural books that show texts from other parts of the world, they are imparting knowledge about various cultures, customs and traditions.  This promotes a climate of cultural diversity and tolerance in the classroom.

4. Parents or other volunteers can read a bilingual book in the non-dominant language.

Educators can invite parents to participate in reading bilingual books in their home language to the class. The teacher can then read the book in the school language. This enhances the bonds between the class and the family/community. It also makes parents feel welcome and provides an opportunity for them to share their expertise.  If parents are unable or unwilling to come to the classroom, other teachers or community members who know the home language can be invited to read in the second language. Another great option is to tune in to the GELC Bilingual Children’s Storytime Channel. This is where I, Mrs. Gonzalez, read children’s stories in both English and in Spanish. If you aren’t part of the GELC community click here so you can have access to the storytime channel and other great resources and offerings. 

5. Engage children with question and answer sessions and discussion in both the school and home languages.

Bilingual books can offer the chance to discuss the same subjects in two separate languages. Teachers can initiate communication in the school’s language, while parents can do the same in their home language. Children can be sent home with a list of suggested topics for discussion to use with parents at home. These are just a few examples of ways that teachers and parents can utilize bilingual books at school and at home. The aim is to build a child’s overall literacy and communication skills, ensure that they are proud of their culture and language, and help them become understanding, multicultural citizens.

6. Enroll your children to be a part of the GELC Bilingual Virtual Children’s Book Membership program 

By immersing your child in this immersive bilingual virtual environment, I will provide them with a strong foundation in both English and Spanish, giving them a distinct advantage in an increasingly globalized society. Research has shown that bilingual individuals not only have enhanced cognitive abilities but also exhibit greater adaptability, improved problem-solving skills, and increased cultural awareness. This unique program is carefully crafted to foster bilingual proficiency in all four language domains (reading, writing, listening and speaking).

Through engaging stories, activities, and discussions, your child will effortlessly develop their language skills in both English and Spanish, ensuring they become fluent and confident communicators in both languages. This exposure to dual-language content will equip them with the linguistic dexterity necessary to excel in diverse academic settings and thrive in multicultural environments.

I understand, as parents, you may have concerns and challenges when it comes to consistently engaging your child in reading, increasing their vocabulary skills, and enhancing their language development.

Here are three solutions that the GELC Annual Children's Book Membership Program provides:

1) Engaging and Interactive Lessons

Each month, your child will gain access to a new developmentally appropriate story that targets all four language domains. The lessons are carefully curated and designed to be engaging, interactive, and fun, ensuring that your child remains enthralled throughout their learning journey.


2) Flexible Learning

As a parent, I understand the demands of busy schedules especially throughout the school year. That's why all the content is recorded, allowing your child to view and interact with the lessons at their convenience. They will have 30 days to complete each class with all the virtual materials, ensuring a stress-free and flexible learning experience.

3) Exclusive Bonus Offers

When you enroll your child I have included exciting and extra bonus offerings within this membership package. For more information and details click here.  

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" The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. "

- Dr. Seuss

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