When is the best time to learn a foreign language? The answer is the earlier the better, and the absolute best time is before a child turns 6. Between the ages of 0-6, a child’s brain makes connections at an astonishing rate. If you are interested in introducing your child to a new language, or if you already speak more than one language at home with your child, the Boston Public Library is full of helpful and free resources.
Mango Languages' Little Pim (available for free through Boston Public Library's electronic resources: http://www.bpl.org/electronic/) is a great place to get started. This free resource provides fun, interactive videos in a variety of languages for young children to enjoy. Games scattered throughout offer a way to test what you have learned.
Building language and literacy skills go hand in hand. To help you get started, check out some of the wonderful bilingual books available in our collection. Ask your child questions as you go through each book. Point out and discuss aspects of the book. If you are interested and curious about the book and the languages used in it, then your child will be too. Visit your favorite local branch of the Boston Public Library today to ask about taking one of these titles home with you!
This list was designed to feature books in a variety of languages that may act as a starting point for enhancing your little one's language skills and for introducing them to other cultures.
Babies love looking at other babies. Use this book to learn emotions and facial expressions in a multitude of different languages (also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and French).
Sing along to this familiar story written in English and laced with Spanish words/phrases. Songs and rhythm make language learning a fun experience and make words easier to recall.
Written in simplified Chinese and paired with pinyin, at the end of this book, each page is then translated into English.
No matter the language (or age), it's always a great idea to start with books featuring familiar concepts such as colors, shapes, or numbers. This particular title teaches colors in German and English.
Practice your Italian with Chameleon, Gecko, Gila Monster, and Salamander as they take off! Perfect as a read-aloud to help grow your little one's vocabulary.
Los Pollitos is a traditional Spanish langauge nursery rhyme. One side of the book is written in Spanish, the reverse in English. Music and song utilize a different part of the brain that makes learning a new language fun and easy!
Learn about similarities and differences for homes around the world through this interactive look-and-find book written in French and English.
Learn about the seasons and animal habits with this book written in both simplified Chinese and English.
Practice your language learning skills with this rendition of "Row, Row, Your Boat" in Vietnamese and English. Act out the song in both languages while teaching your little one new vocabulary words. The author has written several more books in a variety of languages, including "The Wheels on the Bus" in both Spanish and Panjabi.