Bilingual Storytime is by far one of my favorite library programs. I love being able to read Spanish books to children, share traditional Spanish songs and even do some bilingual finger plays. There is no greater joy then seeing a child’s eyes light up when they hear their native language. Some children only get to experience their native tongue at home, so it is always a nice surprise to them when they get to hear it out in the world. Likewise, parents and caregivers get an opportunity to practice their English and share a part of the culture with their children.
Bilingual storytime is important because it shows children that their culture is welcomed in the library and that it is an integral part of their lives. Bilingual storytime also promotes early language learning; the younger you are, the easier it is to pick up a second language which will help tremendously in the future. I often get asked by parents and caregivers, “but won’t my child get stuck? Will they be able to learn English correctly?” I always answer with an enthusiastic YES! It is a common misconception that learning another language at a young age will confuse a child, but research has shown that that is not the case. In fact, being bilingual gives children a great advantage when it comes to language acquisition.
I have gathered a variety of tips and tricks to help you get started on presenting a bilingual storytime. I hope these resources will help you gain the confidence to present this wonderful program at your library or maybe even add something new to your existing program. ¡Vamonos!