Sunday, September 8, 2013

Reading for Multiliteracy

Every other night, it's my turn to read to the children. My husband reads to them in English and on my nights, we have a large selection of books from Scholastic Canada that the kids choose from. They know that the top level of their bookshelves are en français and the lower level is in English.

Tonight, we chose an all-time favorite: "Max et les maximonstres"!!! (by Maurice Sendak)

The kids tend to be a little hesitant on French nights...they really prefer the comfort of English as they hear it from everyone else in their world...and even from me as it is the only language my husband understands and it is also my native language. When it's my turn to read, they often ask if I can read in English, but they know the answer will always be "non." Tonight my daughter said "I like it when mommy reads to us but I wish it were in English." I am on a mission to change this! So tonight, we chose a favorite and the kids were able to participate a little more than usual. I read the familiar phrases, leaving out a word or two on every page for them to fill in. Even little brother, who is speech-delayed, was able to be successful at this en français! Every month when I get the Scholastic Canada flyer, I want to buy more and more books, but I'm thinking I need to slow down a little, and allow the children the pleasant repetition of some favorites. Then they can start helping mommy read like tonight!

The second book we read tonight included a pleasant surprise. The children love playing with Mimi la souris, created by +nathalie bonneau and available on her website. Well, the second book had a character named "Mimi la souris" and they just got a hoot out of that. We had read this same book ("Le printemps de Martin lapin") several months ago, but had not read it since so this was like a new-found treasure.

Now I'm brainstorming more ideas of how to keep this momentum to change my children's attitudes towards French story time and French in general. One thing I did this summer seemed to help. I hosted a French summer camp in our home. I hope to do more of that sort of thing soon in my community! The kids seemed to really enjoy being leaders and helping me teach other French.

I think it may be time to start using AIM Language Learning with my husband and kids together. I have a 50 hour unit of instruction, an AIM "kit," called "La poule Maboule" that is perfect for my children's ages. It's just finding the time while also trying to fully implement the revolutionary methodology which has thrown me a bit of a learning curve this year. I know that in time, it'l all come more naturally. I think that daddy will be more motivated closer to our big trip to France which is not for a few years. We will definitely need to teach "La poule Maboule" to him by then!

What else can I do?
I find this blog post to be very helpful...but what do you think? What are your ideas for raising children in more than one langauge?

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