4 Tips to Nurture Bilingual Literacy: Fostering Fluency in Spanish and English for Early Learners

bilingual story elements
Foster Fluency in Spanish and English with Story Elements

Do you speak mostly English, or Spanish at home?  How can I raise my kids in a bilingual environment so that they can become bilingual and bi-literate?  My kids are barely reading in Spanish and English now!  If this sounds like you, then read on! In this blog post I will show you 4 tips to nurture bilingual literacy using story elements.

4 Tips to Nurture Bilingual Literacy: Fostering Fluency in Spanish and English for Early Learners using Story Elements

Studies show that the advantages of Bilingualism are well worth the effort to teach our kids in English and Spanish:  enhanced cognitive abilities, cultural appreciation, expanded opportunities in a globally connected world...and so much more!

But how do we break it down into reading comprehension?  This is the practical piece:  The actual 'How-To' especially with comprehension.

But first, would you like a free piece of the pie?  Click here for free anchor chart pieces for the Frog Prince so that you can get started teaching story elements!

Here are  4 Tips to Nurture Bilingual Literacy:

Tip #1:  Be sure to read with your child, and have them read as well.  This applies to your At-Home-Routines, and at school as well.  

Sometimes it feels as though this goes without saying, but once in a while a reminder is good.  Be sure to have a bedtime reading routine that covers both languages, plus as a parent, you can build this reading time into the homework routine.  

At school this is easily done with a daily read - aloud and independent reading times.  The point that we need as teachers (and parents!) need to keep in mind is consistency.  Be sure to build the routine, and then stick to it.

Tip #2:  Make sure to give your child, and the kids that you work with choice and voice about the reading selections.  They will be more engaged if they can choose. 

My bundle of Super Simple Stories has 8 stories for kids to choose from.  They are both digital and printable so that you can easily upload the PowerPoints to any device, including your Google Drive.

Tip #3: Eliminate all the distractions.  

I feel like this could go without saying, but it is important to add the point to the list because of our own rushed thoughts about getting everything done in a certain amount of time.  Can you relate?

What I mean is that we may overlook a huge distraction to our kiddos because of our thinking that 'Done is better than Perfect.'  Set the stage for good listening so that you can get done.

This could include managing behaviors of the other kids--siblings or classmates.  Make sure that kids have what they need, and that they are comfortable.  If they are not comfortable, then they won't listen.  Make sure they know that if they are hungry, then they can get a snack (or lunch) at the time you set for the snack, or lunch.

Tip #4:  Teach Story Elements to increase reading fluency and comprehension.

How can story element increase fluency, anyway??!  Easy.  Kids will have to read, and then they will have to re-read so that they can understand story elements.  
bilingual story elements

So what exactly are Story Elements?

Story Elements are foundational points for understanding and comprehending literature.  This includes story retell, understanding the setting and knowing how to define the word setting.  Story elements also include characters.  Kids need to know how to define character, (as applied to story elements) and they need to know how to list the main characters and even the minor characters.  It is important for young learners to understand that sometimes animals are personified in stories.

How do I teach Story Elements?

Here is where my Super Simple Stories Bundle is so practical.  When you download, you will have a variety of different ways to teach story elements, therefore you are teaching fluency and comprehension at the same time!  It's a WIN-WIN for everyone!
Click the image to check out the bundle

I will show you how to use my bundle so that you can teach those Story Elements, so that in the end your kiddo, or kids, will improve their Bilingual Fluency.

First of all, know that ALL the resources in this bundle are completely the same in Spanish and in English.  Plus, they are all in color and in black and white.  Finally, the stories are printable, but you can easily upload them using the 'Projectable' files that I have created for your convenience.
printable and digital bilingual stories

Also, here is a list of the stories included:  Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Ridding Hood, The Little Red Hen, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, The Princess and the Pea, and Rapunzel.

Story Retell:
Some of the stories include timelines.  The timelines are actually differentiated for writing abilities, and they use transition words applicable to first grade Common Core State Standards taught in Schools accross the USA.  Kids can cut out pictures as well to show the plot, or sequence of events. 
timelines for story retell

Show and tell the beginning, the middle and the end of the story.  All of the stories give children opportunity to practice this skill.

Another fun and engaging way for young learners to become more skilled at story retell is for them to use finger puppets!  Check this out:
Frog Prince Finger Puppets

All stories have pictures of the characters and activities for kids to show the characters.  As an added fun piece, you could have kids describe the characters, or their favorite character. 
Teach characters and mood

All the stories will have activities for children to learn about the setting as well.  It is important to start teaching young learners that the setting of a story is simply the time and place.  
characters and settings

When kids retell a story, encourage them to include the setting and to name the characters that are important to the overall comprehension of the plot.  As kids begin to learn the skill of story retell, use the foundational beginning, middle and end process for retell.  

In conclusion, you can easily teach bilingual fluency at home or in school!  My Super Simple Stories Bundle will make it easier for you.

Be sure to read, read, read with your kids giving them choice and voice.  Eliminate distractions, and keep to a routine.  After reading, make sure that you help your kiddos understand foundational Story Elements: Story Retell, Setting, Characters.

Happy Reading!

No comments

Post a Comment