Tag: raising bilingual children

The ultimate list to keep up Italian at home!

The ultimate list to keep up Italian at home!

Schools are closed, families are far apart, but language can keep us together and get our brains active!
Here are some links to help families keep up the Italian language and learn something new!

Scienza Express offers interesting science articles and the content is very accessible.

Esercizi di Meraviglia is a printable book to get children inspired! 

Io resto a casa contains many Ideas to engage children at home.

The lovely comic book Blanca magazine, a great read for the family!

Lezioni sul sofá is a collection of lessons and readings for children of all ages, put together by Italian writers.

Fabulinis is a website with lots of stories, rhymes and tongue twisters in Italian.

Games, activities, stories and much more on  Portale bambini.

Audible Stories  offers some free audio books in Italian during the school closure.

LibriVox has a range of audio books for children and adults in several languages.

For preschoolers, this channel has some simple songs associated with movements:  www.youtube.com/channel/UC_6jHFf1upzmMCHeHrHfANg

Storie da leggere offers downloadable books and activities.Actors from Teatro del Cerchio read a story a day.Teatro Verde has a very exciting YouTube Channel with daily theatre shows. More theatre from Piccolo Teatro.

Free Comic books are published by the National Centre for Research (CNR)  www.cnr.it/it/comics-and-science and more can be found here.Head to bARTolomeo for games focused on the art history of Italy.Imagined as a goodnight date, Il Carosello dei bambini is a podcast of fairy tales, stories, riddles and other content that will be developed during the episodes.

COMING SOON – 09/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 2

How children become bilingual in the first years of life

Typical language development in bilingual children between the ages of 3 and 6

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

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Discover world cultures from your home!

Discover world cultures from your home!

I am the mother of three young children, and spend a lot of time doing things with them and for them. The one thing I still do for myself…yes, just for myself…is a visit to a museum or a gallery. Right now museums around the world are opening their virtual doors for online tours, and you can see incredible artwork from the Louvre in Paris, the Guggenheim in Venice, or the MET in New York and the Vatican museum in Rome from the comfort of your home.

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The experience of visiting a real museum is priceless, but we can use this time in isolation to read about collections and learn something new about art and culture, at no cost.

The Chester Beatty’s collections can be your first stop. You can start with a self guided tour here. The collection is so diverse and includes unique objects from Japan, China, Thailand, Egypt, Italy, and more! You can also download activities focusing on a range of areas, from art history to world faiths to geography, history, languages, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths).

Themes range from artistic traditions found in the Islamic, East Asian and European collections; an introduction to world faiths and cultures through objects; science; language support through objects; preparation for the Art History Leaving Certificate as well as a drawing pack.

Enjoy!

Dr Francesca La Morgia
Founder of Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

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More drama please!

More drama please!

The power of role play

more drama please
I never cease to be amazed at children’s role playing skills. I could listen to them all day. Last week my daughters were playing “sisters”, and decided to be teenage sisters for the morning. Then today they were at the circus…and suddenly they transformed into astronauts! Children are naturals at making the most of our imagination, and they can create worlds with any object in the house. 
Role play might seem just a game, but it is a fundamental part of a child’s development. For bilingual children, role play can also be an organised activity played with the parents to boost language skills.
 
Here are some ideas for joining in some role-play fun together!
 

Dress up!

Pick up any old dress, skirt, socks, bracelet… if you have fabric or even a pillowcase you might be able to add a cape to the mix! Wearing a costume, even if very simple, transports us into an imaginary world! Once you have dressed up, you can recreate a scene from a book or a movie, or make up your own dialogue. For those children who are not keen on using the parents’ language, this is a good way to get started, and it works better if the parent is willing to get completely involved, even if that means having red lipstick on your cheeks! The child can learn a lot of new language through role-play!

Telling stories

Pick a scene from a movie or a book and talk about it. This could be a guessing game… for example, you could describe a scene or a character and the child can guess the name of the book or film. You can also tell stories by creating a small puppet show. You can make simple finger puppets, but you can also go wild and create a home-made theatre!

Using puppets

Puppets allow children to talk using someone else’s voice. You can make puppets using anything, from toilet roll to old socks. There are many ideas out there on creating them using recycled materials. 

During times such as this one, using puppets can be very useful to share feelings and emotions that right now might be changing rapidly because of the changes in lifestyle due to restrictions. Use this opportunity to ask questions, and give your child time to answer and to ask their own questions. If they are lacking the language to have a dialogue, this is a good opportunity to spend time learning together. 

Here are some ideas to get creative using role-play. Be assured that most of us are not professional storytellers or puppeteers, everyone learns as they go along! Don’t try to be a perfect craft king or queen, but just have fun with it and use this opportunity to boost your child’s language and communication skills!

Enjoy!

Dr Francesca La Morgia
Founder of Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter

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Realtá o finzione? Giocare al teatro

Più italiano in casa!

Realtà o finzione? Giocare al teatro

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Questa mattina ho origliato… le mie figlie più piccole stavano decidendo chi “essere”. La più piccola ha deciso di fare la madre, la sorella ha deciso di fare la figlia, e si è data 10 anni in più, quindi era la figlia sedicenne. Si sono vestite in modo strano e hanno iniziato una conversazione intensissima… ho smesso di origliare quando hanno iniziato a parlare di fidanzati! 
I bambini hanno la tendenza naturale a creare storie di fantasia e la teatralità è il loro forte! 🙂

Nonostante i bambini piccoli abbiano un istinto naturale che li porta a creare scenari fantastici anche solo con un rotolo di carta igienica in mano, è importante riflettere sull’importanza che la fantasia e i giochi di ruolo e di drammatizzazione hanno durante tutta l’infanzia.

Queste sono alcune idee che potete utilizzare in casa per divertirvi utilizzando l’italiano:

Travestirsi!

Scatenatevi in un gioco di travestimenti. Potete utilizzare vecchi vestiti o tirare fuori collane, bracciali, cappelli… se avete della stoffa potete creare nuovi costumi. Indossare un costume, anche molto semplice, ci trasporta subito in un mondo immaginario! Una volta travestiti, potete ricreare una scena di un film o di un libro o intavolare una conversazione di fantasia, come facevano le mie figlie questa mattina! Questo é un ottimo modo per incoraggiare i bambini che parlano poco l’italiano. 

Spesso quando i genitori mi chiedono come fare a far parlare i figli di più in italiano suggerisco giochi di ruolo perché nel dialogo l’adulto offre un modello di linguaggio che il bambino utilizza per apprendere nuove parole e frasi complesse. 

Raccontare storie

Scegliete una scena di un film or di un libro e raccontevela a vicenda. Potete usare questi racconti come degli indovinelli, descrivendo una scena e chiedendo all’avversario di indovinare il nome del film o della storia. Potete anche creare un teatrino con dei personaggi da animare. Ecco due video che vi mostrano come creare pupazzi se non ne avete e come creare un teatrino fai-da-te. 

Pupazzi e marionette

Usare pupazzi e marionette permette ai bambini di parlare attraverso un personaggio. Usare bambole, pupazzi o peluche funziona, ma potete anche creare personaggi di fantasia con pongo o altri materiali di riciclaggio, come in questo video

In questo momento utilizzare personaggi per esternare emozioni non é solo importante dal punto di vista linguistico, ma anche emotivo. Fate domande tramite i pupazzi e date tempo ai bambini di rispondere, e di fare a loro volta delle domande.
Queste sono solo alcune delle attivitá che potete utilizzare per usare la vostra creativitá e stimolare l’interesse del bambino nella conversazione e nel dialogo.
Buon divertimento!

Dr Francesca La Morgia
Fondatrice di Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter

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Calling all language explorers!

Calling all language explorers!

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Attention adults! Here is a competition to keep your language explorers occupied for a while and the prize is really cool!
 
The idea is simple: fill out the language passport.
You can print out our passport or make up your own.
We have it available in English and Irish, so children can work on both! 
If you have a printer, you can download and print this file, if not you can easily make up your own passport.
passaporto2_eng
Make one passport for every family member or friend you might like to take with you on your next trip! 
Now it’s time to pick a destination! Choose the place you would like to visit and write 5 facts about it – in English, in Irish or any other language!
Send at least one passport to education@mothertongues.ie by the end of this week. The first 10 children who will enter this competition will receive a free Language Explorers book!
 

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter

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A siesta at home with an audio book!

A siesta at home with an audio book!

From Irish to Urdu, all the books you can enjoy for free from your home

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The days off school seem to be getting longer and longer and stricter measures are now leaving more and more children confined to the home. Some people thrive with carefully planned routines, some enjoy the flexibility of a less organised life… but we all love a bit of a quiet time!

In my house there are three children, all with their own hobbies and with their own ideas on what to do every day! We tried plan-free days, super planned days, and the one ingredient that always worked every day, no matter what, was the siesta, or “riposino” as we say in Italian. We put on an audio book and everyone lies down and rests. After an hour or so, we are all happy to see each other again! 🙂

Here are some of the links to audio books available in different languages (some of these are bilingual!)!

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Audible Stories are currently offering free audio books in English, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Spanish and French.  
Some Irish language audio stories are also available on the Raidió na Life SoundCloud at this link. There are also links to stories read by Conor Hackett and more on Cois Life’s SoundCloud here.

LibriVox has hundreds of books in different languages, read by volunteers. If you click on search here you can choose the language and the genre. There is also a multilingual fairy tale collection in 6 different languages, that you can access here.

Unite for Literacy provides free access to more than 400 original picture books, one fourth of them written in Spanish. The digital books provide audio narrations in more than 40 languages, spoken by native speakers in warm, expressive voices. The languages of narration include indigenous and endangered languages along with languages most widely spoken in the US. Our publishing services include the ability for our partners to curate and embed a selection of books on their websites.

Global Storybooks  is a free multilingual literacy resource for children and youth worldwide. Read, download, toggle, and listen to a wide variety of illustrated stories. 
Scribd offer a free subscription to their huge collection for one month. There are thousands of books for children and adults to read and listen to!
www.scribd.com  

 

Listening to audio books is not only relaxing, it is a way to hear more of a language, which we all know is a great exercise!

Enjoy!

Dr Francesca La Morgia
Founder, Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter

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Piú italiano in casa! – Quarta parte

Più italiano in casa!

quarta parte

Idee per combattere la noia ed imparare insieme durante l'isolamento

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Pasta da mangiare, pasta per giocare!

Il web è pieno di idee e immagini su come utilizzare la pasta per creare lavoretti, ma questa è una sfida per voi! Inviate le vostre immagini del lavoretto con la pasta il 23 e 24 Marzo sui nostri social (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) e taggate #mothertongueschallenge 

Il 24 Marzo alla fine della giornata annunceremo il vincitore della sfida e ne proporremo una nuova! Il premio è una membership di Mother Tongues e il fantastico libro Language Explorers!

Nel blog post precedente ho parlato del divertimento nel cucinare insieme, scrivere ricette e scambiarsi ricette con familiari che vivono lontano. Per i bambini più piccoli cucinare è un’attività divertente ed è anche un modo per sentirsi adulti e responsabili.

La pasta e il riso si possono usare anche in maniera creativa e in questo post vi mostrerò alcuni esempi.

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Per le manine piú piccole…

Per i più piccolini pasta di formato piccolo, riso e fagioli secchi sono perfetti per fare giochi che sviluppano la motricità manuale e la coordinazione occhio-mano-polso-dita. Potete dipingere la pasta usando colorante per cibo o tempere.  
La pasta colorata può diventare un passatempo molto semplice. Il bambino può organizzare i diversi formati in bicchierini, o organizzare a seconda del colore. Insieme potete organizzare il contenuto di ogni bicchiere descrivendo quello che ci va dentro. Potete anche disegnare dei quadrati su un foglio e chiedere al bambino di mettere un piccolo numero di pezzi in ogni riquadro.

Se avete diversi formati potete creare una collana alternando pasta di diversi formati, e usare questa occasione per contare insieme. Un modello con delle istruzioni si trova qui.

Con la pasta possiamo fare gioielli di ogni tipo, sia per noi che per le bambole o i peluche! Ma ci sono anche tante altre idee… io ricordo che quando ero piccola facevo paesaggi usando solo pasta, colla e un foglio di carta colorato come sfondo.
Questo video mostra disegni semplicissimi che potete ricreare anche con un bambino molto piccolo 

La pasta si puó usare anche per scrivere! Se il bambino sta imparando a scrivere il proprio nome, per esempio, potete scriverlo usando la pasta colorata. Potete spezzare degli spaghetti non cotti per le lettere in stampatello … per quelle in corsivo dovrete cucinarli! 🙂 
Il via alla sfida! Mandateci una foto con un messaggio in italiano!

Dr Francesca La Morgia
Fondatrice di Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter

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Time to play with pasta!

Time to play with pasta!

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Are you desperately searching the web for creative ideas to pass the time with your child? The internet is full of images and suggestions on how to make crafts with pasta, but here is a challenge for you! 

Get creative with your child, make something using pasta and send us a picture using the #mothertongueschallenge on 23rd and 24th March! Winners will be announced on 24th March! The winner will get a one year Mother Tongues membership and the fantastic Language Explorers Activity Book!

So, let’s get started!

For the smaller hands…

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Pasta shapes, rice and beans are perfect for small hands. Games involving handling and sorting small objects are great for little fingers as they enhance hand-eye coordination and motricity.

You can paint the pasta together using food colouring or paint. You can pass lots of time with a young child sorting pasta by shape or by colour, using small glasses or drawing squares on a piece of paper and putting a set number of shapes in each square. 

Pasta is great for making colourful jewelry! You can make a necklace by alternative shapes or colours, and use this opportunity to create patterns and count together. There are plenty of really beautiful ideas out there, and I particularly loved the Macaroni Cats

Check out the Artful Parent which is a fantastic resource with lots of ideas on how to get creative with pasta! 
I also remember that as a child I used to make pasta landscapes, using just pasta, glue and a piece of paper. It’s easy and you don’t need to be a super artist to achieve a good result!

Finally, you can use pasta to count and also to write letters, as you see in the video above.

You can break dry spaghetti (uncooked) to create some capital letters, if you want to write in cursive you are going to have to cook them! 🙂

Join the challenge, get creative and send us your creation with a message in your mother tongue!

 
Dr Francesca La Morgia
Founder, Mother Tongues

COMING SOON – 02/04/2020

The bilingual child

Live Webinar with Dr Francesca La Morgia - Part 1

How children become bilingual

What to expect in the first three years of life

Activities that boost language skills in early childhood

How Mother Tongues supports bilingual/multilingual families

The webinar is free for Mother Tongues Members. 

dr francesca la morgia

Subscribe to our newsletter