How to Use Songs in Bilingual Storytime
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.
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.
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.
Spanish Bilingual Storytime
- City of Round Rock - Bilingual Spanish Storytime
Handouts, rhymes and more used in Biligual Spanish Storytime at Texas's City of Round Rock library.
- REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the S
Recommended resources for bilingual storytime and other library resources for serving Spanish speaking children and young adults.
- Bilingual Storytime At Your Biblioteca
Slideshare addressing different ways of starting bilingual storytime at your library was well as community concerns, budget, etc.
Use actions. It will help children retain more and get the wiggle worms out.
French Bilingual Storytime
- Bringing up Baby Bilingual: storytime
A mother bringing up her child bilingual (French/English), volunteers by offering a bilingual storytime at her local library and offers advice on everything from stories, songs and ways to get families to attend.
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?