Bilingal mother and son share quality time as they read Binibi's bilingual children's book, Los Pollitos Dicen, featuring popular Spanish songs for kids.

Language learning is best facilitated through meaningful interactions and experiences that open the door for rich, new vocabulary in the target language.  As we began to discuss in the previous blog (Encouraging Bilingualism Through Dialogic Reading - Part 1), dialogic reading, which is the act of engaging in a conversation with your child as you read together, is highly beneficial when it comes to language learning. It provides children with more exposure to the target language and endless opportunities to learn new words being used in fun and interesting contexts as they engage in conversation with their parents. 

All of our bilingual children's books are packed with elaborate images and engaging sounds, like nursery rhymes in Spanish, that facilitate endless opportunities for you to initiate conversations with your child.

In the previous blog post, we discussed the “PEER” method for dialogic reading which stands for Prompt, Evaluate, Expand and Repeat (check out the blog to learn more). Now, we’re going to dive deeper into how you can apply this method with your child while reading Binibi’s bilingual children's sound books, or other bilingual books for kids, filled with sound, illustrations or even popular Spanish nursery rhymes that facilitate Spanish learning for kids.  

As you read through a Binibi sound book, here are some of the fun ways you can start a dialogue that will likely capture your child’s attention and prompt him or her to react or elaborate upon the topic you have discussed: 

PROMPT - Prompt your child to say something about the book by asking questions. There are many ways to do this!  

  • You can ask questions like “¿Dónde está la abeja? ¿La puedes encontrar?” or “Where is the bee? Can you find it?” 
  • You can listen to the children's Spanish songs and relate the illustrations to the songs as you sing along. For example, as you read our Los Pollitos Dicen & Other Nursery Rhymes book, you can say, "Mira los bebes pollitos! ¿Dónde está la mama gallina? Les está buscando la comida" or "Look at the baby chicks! Where is the mother hen? She is getting them food."
  • You can also ask your child to fill in the blank
    • “I see a  ____ “
    • “The bus is the color ___”

EVALUATE - Evaluate their response. 

  • How does your child respond to your questions? 
  • You can also discuss different elements of the illustration like the number of animals, colors, or simply talking about what is happening in the image like how the monkeys are sitting and hanging from the tree as they eat in our Visiting- Visitando La Selva book.

Let your child take the lead by asking them what they see or like about the images and see what they say. 

EXPAND - Expand on what your child is saying. You can do this in many ways. For example, if you ask your child what animal they see, and they say “a cow", you can then respond, “Yes, that is a cow, and it is white and has black spots, and it is eating grass!” You can also point to objects to continue the conversation.

  • “Yes, that is the cow, now can you find the bee?”
  • “That was great! Now, can you show me where the bird is?”

REPEAT - Follow these steps to ensure comprehension.

The more words are continuously learned through the dialogic reading method, the better the child will eventually be able to relay and describe ideas, objects, observations, thoughts or questions. While your little one may not grasp these new words immediately, he or she will eventually understand them the more they are practiced over time.

In addition to the many benefits of dialogic reading for promoting bilingualism at home, one of our favorites is the fact that it allows you to have a different reading experience every time you come back to the same book. You can go back to the same book over and over again and read it differently each time, emphasizing and focusing on different aspects that you can discuss in detail and introduce new words with. As your child grows, you’ll see how much they start to engage and exchange – and it's pretty amazing to see!

To learn more about dialogic reading, click here.