Repeat after me: Books, books and more books! You can never have enough books for your bilingual child.
Where should all of these books be? In your home within easy grasp of your bilingual child.
You’ll want to make sure to have as many books as possible in your language and you’ll want to read them over and over and OVER again to your child. Your child needs to see, hear and participate with you as much as possible in reading books in her languages.
If your child can already read, make sure to pick out books which are of genuine interest for her. It is the enjoyment of reading the book which will make her delight in the language. In fact, some books she may well want to read over and over again! What a fabulous way to encourage multilingual vocabulary and grammar!
There are a number of ways to create your own language library at home…
- Ask family and friends back home to save books for you. They can either send the books to you in one package or you can bring them home after you go for a visit.
- Check your local library for books in your language. You might be pleasantly surprised by how many books are available in your language! One library branch or system may have more books in a given language than another so make sure to speak with someone at the library to find out.
- Langauge playgroups are a great way to get to know other families – families who have books! Suggest a book exchange. Some families who have older children are more than willing to pass on books they no longer use.
- The internet is full of books which you can purchase. Look for sales and then stock up. Many online book sellers will ship the books for free if you order over a certain amount. Take a peek in our Marketplace section to see if you can find anything of interest. Ask other families where they purchased their books and see if they have what you are looking for.
- Finally, don’t forget to stock up on books when visiting family and friends back home! Take an extra bag (or four) and build up your own library. Just make sure you pay attention to airline baggage weight limits! Books are very heavy and may push you over the maximum allowed weight per bag.