Anyone raising a bilingual almost-reading child? — The Bump
Pre-School

Anyone raising a bilingual almost-reading child?

I had really hoped I had some more time to figure out resources to teach my child to read in Spanish, but I'm worried I need to counter her current pre-school curriculum of sounding out letters. She's already raising her eyebrows when I refer to the letter "i" as "e" (the sound it makes in Spanish).

Any tips, resources, info?

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Re: Anyone raising a bilingual almost-reading child?

  • yes, actually.  I am from Costa Rica so I talk to my kids at home in spanish.  They can read and understand both.  What I would do, for you, is tell her that at school she'll learn english.  When she comes home, she'll learn spanish.  

    I would get spanish flash cards, books, etc. and sit with her for an hour a day.  It will sound weird to her, but eventually it will be old hat.  Keep at it. it's how they learn. 

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  • Not really, but the boys are starting at a French immersion school in a couple of days. It will be interesting to see how they adapt to it. (Neither my husband nor I speak any French.)
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  • Our little one turned 3 a couple of months ago. She is not in school yet but I speak to her exclusively in Spanish an d her dad in English. She is not reading yet but knows the alphabet in both languages. So far she has been pretty good about separating the lanugages with different situations. So I think that when she is actively learning to read with me (in Spanish) she will know/learn that in that context a letter sounds a certain way while it sounds different in English just like everything else has two labels for her. I read to her a lot in Spanish and my husband reads to her a lot as well but in English. Amazon has a ton of books in Spanish. Right now my daughter really likes the Fancy Nancy Spanish version./ Make sure you practice her ABC's in Spanish, get flash cards and read, read, read.
  • Hello.  I'm usually on pregnancy boards, but I have a 4 year-old son.  I'm raising a trilingual child.  Like pp said, you need to exclusively speak, read and write to her in Spanish.  I was talking to a woman from Mexico about this the other day, and she said she didn't allow her children to speak English to her at home.  Sometimes kids get frustrated, especially once they start going to school, but she told them no English at home and had them read and write in Spanish as well.  They grew up perfectly bilingual.  Kids are capable of learning many languages.  Don't hesitate to teach her Spanish.  If you can make it normal for her to only use Spanish with you, she'll be great!
    m/c - Dec 2005, DS - March 27, 2007, m/c - Oct 2009, DD - Feb 20, 2012

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