Narrative skills is another important skill that children need before beginning kindergarten. No, they don’t have to be able to narrate Shakespeare, they just need to be able to describe things or events. So what can you do as a parent? Talk! Talking helps children learn oral language, a very important early literacy skill. And if you know more than one language, even better!
A parent asked me recently about speaking a language other than English in the home. She was concerned that her child would be confused and would not learn to speak correctly. I told her to not to worry, that her child will be able to learn both languages at the same time. An article on Baby Center talks about the myths surrounding raising a bilingual child. Many are worried that the child will be confused or that speech will be delayed. Not true!
There are a lot of articles about raising bilingual children and the benefits are many. Today’s Parent says, “Study after study shows that in households where two or more languages are spoken, children thrive and grow up fluent in both.” “Early childhood is a very good time to acquire a second language, due to brain plasticity.” A Guide to Raising Bilingual Children offers some great tips and trick for parents.
And why not check out a book or two, written in another language, to read with your child. The Library has a great selection of books for kids in a variety of international languages such as Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. Many story time favorites can be found in the collection.
See you in the Story Time Room!