ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Use Songs in Bilingual Storytime

Updated on February 21, 2012

Use songs during bilingual storytime to help children get more out of the program. It is best to choose simple songs with actions and words children might recognize. There are really three main options when it comes to choosing them. Use only one of them, or incorporate all three.

Photo Curtesy of Amazon

Sing songs with which children are familiar. Many songs such as "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" can easily be translated into many different languages. Songs such as "Old MacDonald" or "Down on Grandpa's Farm" can be sung in English with the exception of the animal names and what the animals say. For example, during the bilingual story time hold up a pig puppet while children sing "Down on Grandpa's farm, he had a great big couchon. Le couchon, he makes a sound like this groin, groin."

Play CDs. Many well known children's artists have songs available in other languages. Look for music by Raffi, Charlotte Diamond, and the Laurie Berkner Band. Disney and other production companies translate their movies into other languages so as that children across the world can also enjoy them. Look for appropriate soundtracks that can easily be used during the program.

Tip

Translate piggy back songs into foreign languages. Children will recognize familiar tunes, beginning bilingual storytime leaders will feel less pressure and it will help non-bilingual children recognize new vocabulary.

Sing along to traditional songs that are written in the native language for speakers of that language. You should be able to purchase CDs to help children sing along.

Before using traditional songs, look up the translations of songs. Why? The song Aloutte was written during a time when people depended upon small birds to make up a part of their diet. Centuries later, this is not the case. During Word War II, young French children were terrified of American soldiers after they liberated Paris because soldiers drove down the street singing the only French song they knew... Aloutte. The song is about someone taking a skylark and ripping off the bird's beak, heart, lungs, legs, wings, feathers and finally its brain. You would not want something similar scaring away the children coming to story time for their first time.

Tip

Use actions. It will help children retain more and get the wiggle worms out.

Why is it important for children to learn another language?

Even if you don't have a large population of non-English speakers, bilingual storytime can help English speaking children. Young children will learn vocabulary, learn to speak foreign languages without an accent, learn about other cultures, and more.

Do you have a favorite story, song or rhyme to share in bilingual storytime? Fun memories? Tips and advice to share?

Share Your Ideas

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 

      6 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      I began my Spanish studies as a teenager and find it amazing that I still remember the lyrics and melody of the first Spanish-language song I was ever taught. A super lens with great tips.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Starting early with the bilingual stories, songs and nursery rhymes is beneficial to everyone. In fact, as an adult, I'd probably do some eavesdropping at story time at the library if bilingual storytime were offered. :) (Never too old to learn, right?)

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      6 years ago from So Cal

      You caught my attention with the Pigeon book. It is a family favorite and never gets old. We live in a lower income area and we are the minority. English is the 2nd language here so learning enough Spanish to get by is important. The stores that send out flyers assume that everyone is Spanish speaking so we know all the foods. Our child has difficulties with some of the children who refuse to speak English so he is also learning the language. While he was in public school, story time and assemblies were in both languages. It is hard for the children whose parents only speak their native language to keep up in school. I think it's important to teach them anyway we can so that they are not behind. These are good ideas.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great stuff. Blessed.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)