Bilingual Kiddos Logo

Information and resources for raising bilingual children

Bilingualism & Multilingualism   |   Reading & Literacy   |   Building Vocabulary & Language Skills   |   Bilingual Parenting   |   Finding Native Language Models   |   School & Classes   |   Travel & Study Abroad   |   Product Reviews



How bilingualism makes kids smarter


Many people know that bilingualism can open doors for children, but did you know that it can actually make them smarter? Bilingualism has been connected with the following cognitive benefits . . . read more


Why early exposure to language is so important


It seems the popular phrase "Use it or lose it" can now also be applied to language learning ability. Small children have a unique ability to learn languages that, if not utilized, may be lost forever . . . read more


Stages of second language development


What can you expect from a child who has recently begun second language acquisition? Will they be able to quickly begin speaking or is there a silent period? To answer these questions we need to examine the stages of second language development . . . read more


Strategies for maximizing language learning

Mother and child

Scaffolding strategies are used by ESL (English as a Second Language) and bilingual education teachers to make instruction comprehensible to language learners. As parents raising bilingual children , we too can benefit from these strategies to make language understandable to our children and develop their vocabulary. Here are some tips for making language more comprehensible when communicating with our children . . . read more



How to build vocabulary when reading with young children

Mother reading with child

When reading a picture book in a foreign language to a child, you want to use strategies to build vocabulary and improve comprehension. These strategies will be particularly important if the language is the child's second language . . . read more


Guided reading - How to develop reading comprehension skills in older children

Father and daughter reading

Guided reading is a teaching technique that trains beginning readers to use reading comprehension strategies. Children practice using these strategies under adult guidance so that they will be able to use them independently later. These strategies also help children better understand when reading books in a foreign language . . . read more


How to use word play for language development and literacy

Letter blocks

Phonemic awareness is awareness that language is made up of individual sounds or phonemes. For example, the word "cat" has three sounds, the "c" sound (/k/), the "a" sound (/æ/), and the "t" sound (/t/). Word play, or playing with language, is great for developing phonemic awareness, a precursor to literacy, as well as developing vocabulary. Whether a child is engaging in word play in their first or second language, it can be a fun way to practice with new words . . . read more



7 ways to use your refrigerator door to build vocabulary


In most households with children, the refrigerator door is full of children's drawings and artwork. Since the refrigerator is a frequently visited place in most households, it serves as a great teaching center . . . read more


How to build your child's vocabulary using "The Word of the Day"

Word of the Day

A great way to build your child's foreign language vocabulary (and possibly yours too) is to use free Word of the Day resources from the internet . . . read more


Board games that build foreign language vocabulary and grammar skills


Family game night can be a great bonding experience as adults and children sit down together for a fun evening around the kitchen or living room table. It can also be an oppportunity to develop foreign language vocabulary and grammar skills. So, what games are the best for helping children to develop their foreign language skills? . . . read more


Crossword puzzles and word searches for vocabulary development


Crossword puzzles and word searches are great for building foreign language vocabulary and they are lots of fun. You could buy crossword puzzles or word search books on Amazon if they are available in your target language or make them yourself using free software . . . read more


How to make your own vocabulary games

Memory Cards

It can be difficult to find games in foreign languages to purchase but another option is to make them yourself on your computer. Here are some games that you can easily make at home . . . read more


How to use music to develop foreign language vocabulary


Music is a fun way to help children build their foreign language vocabulary. But what should you look for in the music and how should you use it to most effectively build your child's foreign language vocabulary? . . . read more


How to use TV to develop foreign language vocabulary

Family watching TV

Most of us know that reading with your child can expose them to new vocabulary and develop language skills. Television, when used appropriately, can also be a tool for building vocabulary as well as exposing children to native language models. What sorts of programs should you select and what can you do while watching them to help your child get the most language development out of television time? . . . read more



Language boundaries

Boys behind fence

When you begin raising children in another language you need to decide what the boundaries will be between English, which is the language of the community, and the minority language. Some families create boundaries based on the people who speak the language while others use location or time . . . read more


Mixing Languages - Se habla Spanglish

Girl Talking

As minority language-speaking children learn English, it is only natural for them to mix the two languages. I've even heard my nieces, who have an Arabic-speaking father and Spanish-speaking mother, use three languages in one sentence. What should parents do when their child is fluent in Spanglish? . . . read more



Hiring a foreign au pair

Au Pair and boy

One way of providing a native language model for your children and getting inexpensive childcare at the same time is to hire an au pair. An au pair is a domestic worker from a foreign country that provides childcare and possibly some light housework . . . read more


Hosting a foreign exchange student

Exchange student

When you welcome a foreign exchange student into your home you are introducing your children to the world of culture and language. They will find it facinating that many everyday activities are done differently in the exchange student's home country. For example, they may be shocked to hear that in their home country they eat fish, rather than cereal for breakfast . . . read more



Dual Language Schools


When your child is ready to begin Kindergarten, an option to consider in some cities is dual language schools. In dual language schools, instruction is provided in English for part of the time and a foreign language for part of the time . . . read more



Family study abroad

Kids in China

Looking to brush up on your foreign language skills, teach your children another language, and have exciting adventures abroad? Consider participating in a family study abroad program . . . read more


Home Exchange

Family in front of home

Now there's a way to travel abroad, immerse your family in a foreign language and culture, AND save money. Does it sound too good to be true? It's called a Home Exchange . . . read more


How to overcome 5 challenges of foreign travel with kids

Family in airport

Foreign travel provides a wonderful opportunity to expose children to another culture and allow them to practice their foreign language skills with native speakers. However, foreign travel with children is not without its challenges. With a little planning and the following tips, you can make your next trip abroad a little smoother . . . read more



Usborne Picture Dictionaries

Usborne Picture Dictionary

While there are many picture dictionaries on the market, Usborne’s First Thousand Words series is my favorite for building foreign language vocabulary. Why is it my favorite and how should you use it to most effectively build foreign language vocabulary? . . . read more


Elmer Books

Usborne Picture Dictionary

Elmer, a colorful patchwork elephant, will delight your child while introducing them to new vocabulary in a foreign language. Elmer books are available on in Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Urdu, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Turkish . . . read more