Bilingual literacy development to rock your bilingual classroom

Bilingual literacy associates reading with comprehension. Whether you’re using hardcover books or digital stories to inspire children to learn, many bilingual stories are short and concise. In the same way, brief stories are ideal choices for literacy so that you can focus on short-reading goals.

Pronunciation, context, vocabulary, and phonological awareness are just a few of the bilingual literacy development children will learn. In developing a reading routine, help children to take time to read the stories they enjoy. While the Lexile level is an integral part of choosing narrative stories, understanding how to select bilingual stories is crucial for multilingual learners.

Using narrative stories for bilingual literacy development

A famous quote by Dr. Seuss, “The more you read, the more you know” often relates to how bilingual literacy approaches reading. Similarly, narrative stories engage the bilingual reader to know more about a subject or topic. Bilingual stories in English and Spanish show two different ways to look at reading.

Similarly, the reader can only read one story in either language. However, the reader interacts with the context of the story differently. For instance, you can use the stories in comprehensive lessons or reviews.

For instance, a Spanish narrative story tells about a topic using specific vocabulary, which may or may not correlate to a typical English term. That is why English and Spanish narratives are helpful to new readers. Independent reading emerges as readers become more confident in reading.

So, choose the narrative stories compelling to the imagination. One example is the Highlights High Five Bilingüe magazine. If you’re getting started with bilingual literacy development, this magazine offers a collection of narrative stories in Spanish. With so many to choose from, these magazines are ideal as reading materials for the classroom.

Besides the short stories and vivid illustrations, your instructional lessons will come alive. Much like the original Highlights magazine, categories of fun puzzles, riddles, games, and stories are just a few of the interactive experience for readers.

The Spanish narrative stories benefit the reader with new topics in science, math, history, and culture. A wholesome magazine like Highlights High Five Bilingüe is ideal for any early learning classroom.

Actionable ways to use bilingual narrative stories for critical thinking 

How can bilingual narrative stories help you in the classroom? As part of a readout aloud lesson, these tales show cooperative learning:

  • Engagement with the story as part of a dramatic play
  • Introduction of vocabulary in English and Spanish
  • Development of language mechanics such as grammar
  • Correlation between language development and student reading
  • Interaction of cultural components from Spanish and English narrative stories

Whether you use common reading elements in a bilingual classroom or other reading tools, bilingual narrative stories are a small part of the big reading journey. What helps in one area might show language development support in other areas. Besides, learning new vocabulary and basic terms are more fun with these reading materials.

With narrative stories in English and Spanish, beginning readers start to acquire a love for books for more than the joy of reading. Bilingual language development is a remarkable area to foster and build up language skills in both English and Spanish. Having adequate reading tools helps you develop a more comprehensive language program.

bilingual literacy development

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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