My First Book One day I decided to publish the songs and phrases I taught my kids in English.




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    This post is not about a professional topic, actually, it is about my personal experience as a bilingual mom.

    My six-year-old son started speaking English last year and as we live in a small city in the interior of Argentina I know I can’t expect too much from the English teachers he has. Please don’t get me wrong; I’ve got nothing against them, but their pronunciation… :/

    So, last summer we started singing in English our favorite Spanish songs. How did we do it? First, I chose the easiest (or shortest) ones and then I translated them for him. And now I confess –I’ve never worked in this translation area before and I loved it! (And my son loved it too) <3

    Then we went on with some favorite quotes that we know but parrot in European Spanish (and sometimes in Latin Spanish) and none of them is our dialect.

    My husband was surprised by the speed with which he was acquiring everything, relating concepts and pronouncing so well –my son pronounces better than my husband does. Besides, we don’t know anything about teaching, but we were able to prove that kids at this age are real sponges, apart from being able to switch between codes easier than any adult.

    Finally, I’m so into teaching the best English pronunciation to my kid that we sing one of my translated songs every day, and in the mornings we remind each other some inspirational quotes/phrases we like. My husband encouraged me to publish a book including our bilingual collection and here I am, looking into the available publishing houses.

    Something that started out as a game with my eldest son, has turned into a bilingual book for kids. The publishing of the book is a fact now and I’m so happy I’ve followed my husband’s advice.

    What strategies do you use for teaching second and third languages to your kids? Do you think reading a bilingual book or singing songs in both languages influence their code-switching skills?

    Clarisa Pereira G. A.

    About Clarisa Pereira G. A.

    I am a mother of two, a passionate translator, a writer by vocation, and a fearless entrepreneur. #mamásfreelancers #xl8 #CreativaMente

    7 thoughts on “My First Book

    1. Sounds great, Clarisa! I think it is a great idea and I hope you will find a publishing house! My sons (9 and 11) speak English and never had a single English lesson. They learned it playing games (Minecraft started all this) and then watching YouTube videos of people playing the same games and commenting in English on what they were doing. Last week they were watching a movie in English and when I asked them why they were watching it without any subtitles they said they had not even noticed the subtitles were not appearing. They speak English to each other while playing games and it all comes so naturally to them! I am so surprised how quickly they are picking this up. I don’t want them to spend too much time playing video games but these games have taught them a lot of English.

      1. Watching videos is another perfect option! My eldest son is just going into technology because I still prefer reading/touching real stuff, though I accept there are great language learning apps that will definitely help him. Thank you for your tips!

    2. That’s wonderful, Clarisa :) Good luck with your search, I really hope you find the right publishing house for your project. I have noticed too that nowadays kids absorb a lot from the Internet and are able to achieve a good level just by surfing/watching movies and videos in English.

      1. And I’m sure they help us translators too! I’m not teaching at the moment, so I keep the language up watching movies, singing and now singing to my kids. I’m so anxious to see them read my book!

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