Google+ Raising a Trilingual Child: May 2015


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Raising a Bilingual Child : Setting Your Priorities From The Start.

You are a happy parent. You have a precious baby that you decided to raise bilingually or even multilingually.

It is time for your family and, if you are a minority language speaking parent, for you personally to set the priorities. Set them right from the start, as the way you start could affect your success in passing your mother tongue (or the targeted language) onto your child. You should really think through it and act on what I say, if you wish a high level of proficiency in your language for the child. You might have a feeling that your child will have a plenty of time for language learning and that he/she is still just a baby. Yes, the latter is true, but not the former as the time will pass by so fast that you won’t even notice when it’s time for your child to go to school where he/she will inevitably detach from you and your language daily influence.

How do you figure out what’s important? How do you prioritize the language learning?

Direct interaction with your child.

By spending more time directly interacting with your child you at the same time give the priority to the language learning.

A child starts learning language still in the womb and keeps on learning day after day, word by word. He learns even when he is not talking back to you, when he is 1,2,3 month old.

The first months is when YOU need to do all the talking. I know that could feel weird as nobody answers you. Your baby is just a passive listener, BUT he is also a very fast learner.

Children need to hear you to speak to them, interact with them. They need to hear words several times in order to acquire them.

The words are rolling on and on, like a snowball that gets bigger and bigger as you roll it across a snowy lawn.

Use any opportunities to talk to your baby. Play with your baby, read to your baby, just be with him/her and SPEAK SPEAK SPEAK to him/her. Every simple thing you do, such as singing a lullaby helps you to prepare your baby for the future literacy.

Do you know what is the best way to start building your child’s vocabulary? - take him for a stroll and talk and explain to him everything you see.

Here are other changes and decision you may need to make.

I know many of us feel, especially with the birth of a new family, that everything should be perfect. The house, the family.

You try to do your best in being parents, a husband, a wife.

The first three years of your child’s life are the most important for the language development (and not only!) . Your child needs you during these years the most. Especially if you are the parent , who is passing on a second language.

Your child’s need in your support is proportional to the child’s growth rate. The faster he grows the more he needs you. He learns about the new and exciting world around him and becomes more independent. Overtime your child will start to slowly detach from you and grow into an independent human being day by day giving you more time for yourself. But this stage of life comes later. Right now you need to make more time for your baby. But how? Where can you find time? How to make the time for a child in our busy life?


When your baby is up, it’s “his time”. Talk and involve your baby into activities when he is less tired and more alert. And do whatever you need to do around the house or outside, when the baby is tired or asleep. That way you can get the maximum results from those hours of learning.

A quick observation based on my kids: the more they were learning the better they were sleeping; thus, giving me more time to take care of other things around the house.

If you can, try to live near your workplace to cut on the commute time and be home early for your little one.

If you need help - find a babysitter or daycare provider speaking your language.


Three course meal is great, but do you really need it now? There are many dishes that are very healthy, easy to cook and , what is very important here, they are fast to prepare! When your child is older, he/she will help you to prepare those big meals, just wait a little. He will learn new words and practice speaking simply by doing it with you.


Mix and match the responsibilities. Encourage your half to pitch in more. Take turns cooking. Or cook and freeze meals to free up time.

When your child is ready to eat adults like food , make a dish that everyone can eat. This could be a good remedy for picky eaters as well.

Think what you spend a lot of time on and how you can reorganize your life to have this activity during your child’s rest hours.

Delegate! Hire help!

Groceries. How about a home delivery? Check online and local stores for this possibility. Yes, it costs extra money, but think about it as a little investment into your child’s future. It’s better, if you spend time together now than pay language teachers later.

Cleaning. If you feel overwhelmed, hire someone to clean your house. It does not have to be every week. If you are on a tight budget having a cleaning service for 3 hours every other week will do the magic and will help you keep the house under control. Look at it as a very good investment in your child's bilingual education.

If your relatives / friends offered you help to run some errands -- take it.

Talk to your husband / wife / partner , find a solution to optimize your life to be there for your soon to be bilingual baby for these precious three years. Your child grows and changes, he will be more independent soon, but the first three years of his life are when he learns the most and masters the languages.

And when the question comes:

Should I read to my child or clean the house?

I answer: Read!

What would YOU answer?

I am pretty much the only language source for my kids and I know for sure my kids won’t be speaking my language this fluently as they are without myself setting the priorities and putting the kids language learning needs before my own and without support of my lovely husband.

Do you have something to add? Please do so in the comments below! And Thank You!

You might also like reading:

How To Raise a Bilingual / Multilingual child? Where to start?

Choosing the best language strategy for your family.

Pros and Cons of Raising a Trilingual Child.

What language should I speak to my child in public? - Multilingual parent dilemma.

Can babies distinguish foreign languages?

Are you a multilingual family and looking for a playdate in your language or another family to chat with? Click here to find it now!

Bilingual Multilingual families Find a playdate in your language

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Child's exposure to more than one language helps to build strong communication skills.

I really feel the need to share exciting results of the recent research conducted by psychologists of University of Chicago.

Not only bilingual children, but also children, who are exposed to more than one language, have better social communication skills.

I hope this news will encourage parents to keep on speaking their mother tongue around their children and to their children, even if they feel close to giving it up.

Read more about the research here.

You might also like reading:



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

FREE Audio Books and Stories for children in English. 19 great websites.

Audio books are very entertaining for kids. They are a great resource for teaching and learning a language to any age group from kids to adults.

You can listen to them in a car or at home while enjoying other activities.

My kids like to draw and listen to fairy tales and children's stories when they are broadcasted on children's radio or as audiobooks.

Here are links to 19 great websites that are offering kids' audio books for free :

1. Storynory 

Free audio stories for kids with texts:

Original stories
Fairy tales
Classic Audio books
Educational stories
Myth and World stories
Junior stories
Poems and Music

Listen to audiobooks on iTunes:

2. Meegenius Free Books

Audiobooks are available for children up to 8 years old . You can choose from different titles. You can either read an ebook by yourself or listen to a narrator and follow the words in the text.

3. Loyal Books

Free public domain audiobooks & eBook downloads for children and adults.
Great kids audio books collection!

4. Storyline online

This website is the contribution of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation to the advancement of literacy. It features professional actors and famous people reading children's books aloud. Wonderful book reading videos on Youtube!


Audiobooks are read by volunteers and available for free to anyone to listen to or to download. Browse the catalog of over 15000 free audio books. In order to find the children's books you could browse by Gender / Subject or use their advance search and choose in Category/ Gender  either "Children's Fiction" or "Children's non-Fiction" to show all the children's audio books available.

6. Online Audio Stories

Great short stories for kids with read-along text. Also available on iTunes.

7. AudioBooksForFree.Com

Children's Classics

Animal Adventures ( including books about Dinosaurs !)

Train Tails

Fairy Tails 


Folklore Stories

Grown up books for kids

Cristian Books

Jokes for children

Poetry ( Nursery rhymes and playground counts)

8. Kiz Club

read along books with words highlighting future or books to print in PDF
Level 1 stories

Level 2 Stories

Level 3 Stories 

9. Kiddie Records Weekly

Golden collection of vinyl records ready to be streamed or downloadble as mp3. Wonderful classics from the golden age!

There are also stories and songs for kids on youtube!

10. Lit2Go 

Collection of children's literature sorted by author, book titles, genres, collections and readability level. You can either listen to mp3 format audiobooks and read the text online or download audio and books in PDF.

11. Audio Stories for Kids

More than 200 stories in mp3 format for you to download and listen to. No text is provided.

12. The Children's Story books online

Free children ebooks website. Some books are with audio narration.  

13. A Story Before Bed

This is a particular website. Children's books are narrated by their authors (with video!). You can also record an audio and video of you reading a book, so  your children / grandchildren would watch YOU reading it instead. This is a paid option, but you can try it for free and see, if you like it.

14. Learn English Kids by British Council

Really great website for little English language learners with short kids stories to watch. The website has other great language learning material: nursery rhymes, kids songs, tongue twisters, spelling and grammar videos and games.

Learn English Kids ON YOUTUBE 

15. Story Place


The children's digital library, where children can listen to interactive stories and play.

Choose from  Preschool Library   or   Elementary Library

16. Books written and read by Robert Munsch

Robert Munsch  is the author of many great books. Listen to them or read his poetry and stories. He also shares with readers how his books were written.

17.  International Children's Digital Library (ICDL)

Extensive digital library of children's ebooks from around the world. Many books are available in more than one language.
I found 5 audio books at the moment that are available in two languages - English and Spanish. Use this Keyword search to check if there are more audiobooks and to find ebooks you'd like.
ICDL digital books for children are available on iPhone & iPad:

18. Hoopla

(for USA library card holders only)

Great website where you can instantly borrow free audio books with your USA library card. You can also borrow and stream on your mobile or computer movies, television shows, music albums. It is like taking them for a short period from your local library.

Get it on Google Play

19. Over Drive

( for USA library card holders only)

You can borrow audiobooks, ebooks, videos using your local library card.

Get it on Google Play 



Kid's radio stations from around the world


List of kids' books in Russian language.

List of Russian Children's Cartoons and Movies.


List of children's books in Polish language - Lista książek po Polsku dla dzieci

You might also like reading:

7 principles to keep in mind while teaching your child to read

Can babies distinguish foreign languages? 

Does passive language learning work?

9 steps of Raising a Bilingual Child successfully.