Helping children develop their American and native cultural identities together.

Read with your children in whatever language you are most comfortable

Posted by bububooks on May 25, 2009

As summer approaches, now is as good a time as any to learn effective ways to read to or with your child.  It is absolutely OK to read to your child in your native language.  Doing so will not affect their ability to learn English.  Indeed, this exposure will better prepare them for language proficiency and reading skills as well as to learn languages in the future. 

Below are some tips for reading with elementary school kids:

Encourage your child to read another one
Find ways to encourage your child to keep reading.  If he or she likes one book, find another book with a similar subject or by the same author.  Ask a librarian or teacher (or email us at bububooks) for book suggestions.  

Take turns reading
Once your child can read, have him or her read aloud to you every day.  You can take turns: you read one page and your child the next.

Make connections to your child’s life
Help your child make connections between what he or she reads in books and what happens in life.  If you’re reading a book about a family, for example, talk about how what happens in the story is the same or different from what happens in your family.

Give your child an incentive to read
At bedtime, encourage your child to read.  Offer a choice between reading and sleeping.  Most kids will choose to read, as long as you don’t offer something more tempting (like TV).

Try different types of books and magazines
Encourage your child to read different types of books, articles or stories.  Some kids, especially boys, prefer nonfiction books.  Others like children’s magazines.

Turn on the closed captioning on your television
When watching a television show with your child, try turning on the closed captioning channel.  This shows the words the characters are speaking on the television screen.  Some people find it’s a good way to learn English!  Indeed, Laura likes to watch Chinese television this way (with Chinese characters as the subtitles) to practice her Chinese. 

The information presented in this blog was adapted from Colorín Colorado.  Find more information at www.colorincolorado.org.  

For books–all bilingual!–to read with your child this summer, visit us at www.bububooks.com.  

Happy Memorial Day.  Remember our veterans who valiantly serve so that we may live freely.


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