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Tips for effortless bilingual early literacy centers

Literacy is an essential component for preschoolers to learn to read. Primarily, it fosters the reading abilities to develop a love for reading and to explore new subjects.

When you build literacy centers, you create an opportunity for preschoolers to begin their journey in reading. While there are many ways to create a comfortable place for literacy centers, you might want to develop other areas for bilingual learners, too.

Here are some ways to incorporate bilingual literacy centers in your home or classroom.

Creating Bilingual Early Literacy Centers

When designating an area for literacy centers, think about how this area will be used to generate more readers to pick up a book? Will books organized by genre or characters be more engaging?

Prompting your class or your child to read can be different from day to day. But if you have a specific place as a home base for reading, your child or student will more apt to read with pleasure. Would supplies be another encouraging part of fostering reading? For sure, preschoolers would love to play with glitter and paint.

In fact, if you combine activities to boost the creativity aspect of learning, then reading will become more pleasing. For instance, reading books that already have after-reading activities is a creative way to add interest to the story.

While there are ways to be creative, you might also want to consider the type of seating arrangement that will drive your preschooler to read more. Although traditional chairs are a good start, children tend to be more comfortable with bean bags or lounge chairs to relax.

It is no wonder that many children areas in bookstores offer relaxing bean bags and even low-lying hammocks. Once a reader, just as a preschooler, is relaxed, they are more conducive to continue their reading habits.

Bilingual Early Literacy Center Activities

What are some engaging activities that can benefit preschoolers? One of the best ways to encourage young learners is to offer lots of opportunity for hands-on activities.

When building a bilingual literacy center, you might want to consider these resources:

Literacy Center Education Network

Whether you’re looking for a printables or games, the Literacy Center has the resources for your class or homeschool group. Especially if you’re looking for ways to practice handwriting or Spanish alphabet, this website helps preschoolers to practice letters, numbers, geometric shapes, colors, and word identification.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA Center)

The ECTA Center is a collaboration between partners and educators to provide you with the latest in early literacy. Many of the programs might be available in your area.

You can also check out the many literacy programs available online. One particular bilingual program is the Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL), where you can find resources in Spanish for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

bilingual early literacy

Get Ready to Read! Program

This early literacy program has a full list of video series, webinar, checklists, literacy ideas for home and the classroom, and promoting early literacy every day. A helpful section to check out is the Getting the Most Out of Picture Books.

Here you can find resources about how to use pictures, dramatic play, and travel to encourage preschoolers to read. Also, make sure to look into the book lists for ideas to use in your literacy centers.

Scholastics Bilingual Teachable

Mini books are remarkable resources to add literacy to English and Spanish. If you go to Scholastics Teachable, which is a resource for teachers, you can quickly select the Spanish foreign language section.

Here, you have the option to choose mini books or worksheets in English and Spanish. Whatever your objective for your class or preschooler, these printables are a fantastic way to encourage more reading.

Scholastic Teachable is also available for parents, too.

Mobile Bilingual Early Literacy Centers

So, you might a designated seating area and a comfortable place at home to read. Sometimes, you might want to carry your bilingual early literacy center to other parts of your classroom, outdoors, or even to another homeschool group. Either way, you want to have a mobile literacy center that has all the necessary elements of reading.

Rolling Cart of Activities

Whether it’s a cart or a tote bag, make sure you have it filled with books, colors, paints, flash cards, crayons, and pencils. You can also have digital products like tablets, personal devices, and even laptops. Many games and activities are online, and you can access them via the Internet.

Bilingual literacy centers can take plenty of work to set up, manage them, and keep them up to date. Indeed, it is all worth it. Having books in Spanish and English or even just Spanish fosters the reading experience for preschoolers.

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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