Let Your Multilingual Child Finish Your Sentences!

by Corey · 2 comments

Multilingual-Bilingual Children Language Activity

Multilingual Living reader, Ida, sent in the following tip for how she gets her bilingual child to use the minority language in a fun, innovative way.  Thank you Ida for taking the time to send in this wonderful tip!

My son (3 years old) and I often play a game that consists of us finishing each other’s sentences. It is a very simple game that can be varied endlessly and also adapted to the language level or age of the child. The two versions I list here are suitable for very young children, but I am sure you can come up with more advanced games for older kids!

The mood version:

In this game, I start off by saying (in Swedish) “Mommy is very, very…” while making a face and waiting for Bailey to fill in the right word, which could for example be “happy”, “angry”, “tired”, “sad” or “scared.”  He thinks it is very funny to watch my face and try to figure out what I am feeling!  Then we switch turn and he gets to make a face (which by the way seems to be the same face that I just made, but never mind!).

The bedtime version:

At bedtime this game can become a make-it-up-as-you-go-along story. I often start off by saying something like “Once upon a time there was a little red…”, letting Bailey finish the sentence and decide what the story will be about. He is not yet old enough to be able to start his own sentences but he gladly finishes mine for me.

Thank you, Ida, for sending us this language activity!
You can find Ida at her BLOG.

Do you have a language activity that you’d like to share?
CLICK HERE to send it in!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aunt LoLo July 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Oh, what a great idea!! I often have my three year old finish sentences when we’re reading books…she’s got a crazy memory and can memorize books after just once or twice through them. I’ll have to start having her play Chinese language games with me. Thank you!


2 Corey July 5, 2010 at 7:41 am

Isn’t the memorization power of young children amazing! They take it all in and we can practically see their brains working away (effortlessly it seems!). I am so delighted to hear that you have been doing this activity at home already. Thank you so much for your comment! It encourages us to keep posting these language activities. And if you have any additional ones that you use, please let me know!


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