This month's Multilingual Blogging Carnival focuses on teaching reading to multilingual or bilingual children. Since Elliot is only 4-1/2 years old, we're not yet working on reading...in either English or Spanish. But, I'm hoping that I'm doing the right things to set the stage for Elliot to become a reader in both languages:
Reading, reading, reading: Tim and I are both readers, so Elliot is surrounded by books. Since we live in the US, he has more books in English. But, I've made sure that his Spanish-language collection is sizable and I make an effort to read at least one book in Spanish to him each day. To supplement our collection, we turn to the local library, which fortunately has some non-fiction children's books in Spanish, which are somewhat harder to find.
Elliot also has a subscription to a Spanish-language kids' magazine, which is a great way to continually bring new reading material in Spanish into our home.
Teaching the letters: At Elliot's Spanish immersion preschool, he learns the letters in Spanish. We also have several CDs in Spanish with letter, vowel and alphabet song (although I haven't found one as catchy as the classic alphabet song in English.) Although I'm realizing I don't do it as often as I should, I sometimes ask him to identify letters in Spanish from books or in public (but it's not that effective when the letters are spelling words in English).
Telling him I read in Spanish: I'm not sure if this has any effect, but I let Elliot know that I read books in Spanish (even without him) and I go to a Spanish-language book club monthly to discuss them.
I guess my list of reading preparation is pretty short. But, Elliot is only four-and-a-half. Am I doing enough? Is there something else I should be doing?
For more perspectives on teaching reading to bilingual and multilingual children, check out the blogging carnival on Homeschool Ways on April 27.