Resources for Raising a Bilingual Child
If you are a parent interested in bilingual education, Charlotte is an excellent place to teach your child Spanish. Our city is home to a nationally recognized language immersion school where your child can begin kindergarten fully immersed in Latin American culture. With a mission of “celebrating world cultures and embracing diversity through two languages,” Collinswood Language Academy has been featured on the Today Show for its effective approach to bilingual education.
Charlotte is also home to Hola Charlotte, a Latin American Festival hosted annually in the fall during Hispanic Heritage Month. This event is one of the largest cultural celebrations in the city and is a great opportunity for families to soak in the culture while learning about different Spanish-speaking countries.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is another great resource for bilingual education. The library hosts the Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) event annually. This celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all cultural backgrounds. This year’s event will be held on April 25th.
The library system also has over 9,000 Spanish language and bilingual items. Some of these materials are even available in electronic formats that can be accessed from your personal computer, tablet, or mobile device. With so many wonderful resources readily accessible, one can take advantage of books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks to help your child begin their journey to master the Spanish language.
Here are some of my top picks!
Bilingual is Better by Roxana Soto and Ana Flores: A wonderful resource written by two Spanish speaking mothers raising their children to be bilingual. This is a fun, light read from the creators of SpanglishBaby.com, chosen by Parenting magazine as a “must read Mom’s blog.”
Bebé Goes Shopping, Fire! ¡Fuego!, Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus by Susan Middleton Elya: These picture books with rhyming texts are a great introduction to Spanish vocabulary. Each book includes a glossary of the 20-40 new Spanish words introduced throughout the text.
Call Me Tree (Llamame Arbol) by Maya Christine Gonzalez: A beautifully illustrated story that recites a poem in English followed by Spanish.
I hope you find these resources a great help to raising your bilingual child. Buena Suerte! (Good Luck!)