Hi, my children start narration with me recently. We read all “English” books but I don’t know which language I should ask them to narrate. English is not our native language, we mainly speck Chinese at home. So, should they narrate in English only or both English and Chinese?
They are 7.5 and 5 years old.
How wonderful for your children to be bilingual! Truly I have no idea what you “should” do, but it occurs to me that you might have a goal for them to write nicely in both English and Chinese, eventually. Since narration is a pre-writing activity – organizing thoughts, retelling – maybe you would like to have them become accustomed to doing it in both English and Chinese. Perhaps someone here will have more insight.
My kids are also bilingual but since the books we read are in English they find it easier to narate in English. They are also more comfortable w/English in general though. I am pushing on the French the rest of the day, not when we do school. I’m thinking I might ask them to narate in French as part of our French lessons eventually…
My son is bilingual, incidentally English and Chinese as well though Chinese is his first language. I never thought to have him narrate in Chinese, since I don’t speak it but that is a great idea.
My suggestion is both! What if you had one week in Chinese and one week in English? I would definitely try to do both!
Can I ask a bit OT why you don’t read in Chinese?
I require our son to read some books in Chinese because I don’t want him to lose his first language. We adopted him at age 10, and he speaks and writes Chinese Mandarin so well … would crush me for him to lose it.
Now he is 12 1/2 and he is appreciating more and more our efforts to help him keep his first language, his heart language as we call it.
Anyway, when we were in China for 15 days in February, we bought a whole suitcase worth!!! of Chinese books to bring back. He reads from them every single day. I plan to have him do some copywork from them this next year too (but he doesn’t know it yet).
Mainly because I can’t find any Chinese books here, so we mostly read books in English. I have them to speak Chinese at home because I don’t want them to lose it. At first, I thought it would be hard for them to read books in English but narrate in Chinese. I will try both to see how it works.
Carmen, you can order Chinese books from chinasprout.com, but I’ll warn you they are not cheap!
But we get them for our son for Christmas, birthday, etc. from grandparents and us. And while in China in Guangzhou, like I said, we loaded up an entire suitcase! I know the people in the bookstore thought we were an oddity as it was (me, DH, and our 6 children, 4 of whom are Chinese by birth), AND our rolling suitcase that we FILLED with books.
I was literally like a kid in a candy store once a sweet young lady helped me find the Classics section! If you are ever in Guangzhou, there is a wonderful 5-story bookstore there. Just be sure to take a suitcase!
Thank you for the link!
You are very welcome!!!
Carmen, I really meant to send you this link specifically:
There are some fun storybooks too like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and things like that if you are interested, but the lit. section has many of the books in the SCM bookfinder.
Oh and if you sign up for their email blast, they do send coupons and discount codes on occasion.
Oh, thank you for your kindness. However, seems the prices are not cheap. Due to my limited budget, I will have to select some books that I really want for them. Thanks again!
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