Raising Bilingual Niños: Tip #3
“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges
Reading is a big deal at my house. Everywhere you look are stacks of books and it gives me so much happiness to see them there waiting for me. Likewise, my boys have hundreds of books for themselves. I’ve read to my niños every night since they were babies and taught them to read before they stepped a foot into school.
Left: My favorite Spanish alphabet book, “F is for Fiesta” by Susan Middleton Elya / Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Without going into too much terminology, the method I used to teach my boys how to read employed the use of flash cards and what are referred to as “High Frequency Words” or “Sight Words“. These are the most commonly used words in a language. By practicing with the flash cards, (showing the child the card and saying the word), they soon memorize it and learn to read it on “sight”. (This is in addition to teaching them the alphabet and phonics first.)
FREE FLASH CARDS!
I made the flash cards and you can use them too. To download the PDF of the 175 most common words in Spanish for your niño go HERE. Once you’ve downloaded it, open the PDF in Adobe, print (I recommend using card stock, but regular printer paper works just fine.) – Cut them into individual cards and then they’re ready to use!
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” – Betty Smith/A Tree Grows in Brooklyn