Category Archives: Classroom

Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month – In the (Virtual & In-Person) Classroom

October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! Whether your class is in-person or virtual this month, there are many ways to celebrate language learners in both settings. This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the parents who promote bilingualism at home, and increase parental involvement in school. 

Here are 5 ways teachers can incorporate Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month into in-person and virtual learning activities like reading, music and art sessions, and even PE time. Share this information with families too – they will have lots of fun celebrating their language learners at home! And be sure to check out our inspiration handout for more ideas.

The Many Benefits of Being Bilingual

There are so many reasons why it’s great to speak more than one language in childhood. Science has found that bilingual kids enjoy cognitive, social, and emotional benefits. These advantages begin in infancy and continue throughout the school years into adulthood.

Processing words and thoughts in multiple languages leads to beneficial brain changes. These modifications promote neuroplasticity and enhanced “executive function,” which means a greater ability to focus and to switch between tasks.

1. Play a Game Using Bilingual Books

Illustration of grandpa and child and a book

Even when we can’t travel from home, books allow us to travel in mind and spirit. Check out our post about playing games based on bilingual children’s books for a book-inspired scavenger hunt, charades, puppet show, and more!

Interested in a chance to win free bilingual books? Our 15th Anniversary Bilingual Book Giveaway is still going strong! (If you previously entered, you are automatically part of every drawing.)

The lucky winner chosen during Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month will receive a set of bilingual books in many languages and a copy of our popular teaching manual, Building Bridges with Bilingual Books and Multicultural Resources. (Books will be sent to US or Canada addresses only.)

2. Play a Game From Another Part of the World

Playing games is a great way to get kids moving and playing together. You can search online for games that are played in other parts of the world. (Physical games may need to be adapted to suit your school’s social distancing guidelines.) Here are a couple of our favorites.

1, 2, 3 DRAGON! (China)

This is an active family game where players form a line with each person’s hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them (like a conga line). The first in line is the Head, and the last person is the Tail. The Tail yells, “1, 2, 3, dragon!” and the Head starts moving to try and catch the Tail. The rest of the players must follow the Head’s movements exactly while trying to stay connected to one another. If the line disconnects, then the dragon has died. But if the Head catches the Tail, the Dragon survives! The person playing the Head moves to the back of the line and becomes the Tail, so everyone gets a chance to be the Head.

PALM BALL (Italy)

Similar to Dodge Ball in the US, you’ll need a ball and a piece of chalk to play this game. Mark off a big, chalk rectangle on the ground, with a line through the center. Each player stands in their side of the box. One player starts by serving the ball into the other person’s box, and that player must send the ball back by hitting it. You can’t hold the ball – you can only hit it back into the other person’s box. The challenge is to only let the ball bounce in your box once or twice before returning it to the other side.

3. Make Some Music

multicultural bilingual activities for kids

Music is a wonderful way to introduce kids to different cultures. Look up musical instruments from around the world, and use craft supplies to recreate them. They don’t have to be perfect replicas! It can be pretty amusing to try and craft unique instruments like a Korean haegeum, or an Indian taūs (which looks like a peacock) using what you have at hand. Kids will be learning about other cultures and making music in no time!

4. Explore New Cultural Cuisine

cover of multicultural children's book about food

Different cultures around the world have their own favorite foods. Search online for a gazpacho recipe, and enjoy the classic cold soup of Spain and Portugal. Or, have the kids help make rolls of spam musubi, a popular snack in Hawaii. Filipino halo-halo would be so refreshing, or maybe you’re adventurous enough to try some durian fruit? It’s a fun (and delicious!) way to learn about another culture.

5. Work on Literacy Skills in a New Way

Want to help kids strengthen their literacy skills? Search online for virtual reading programs through schools, libraries, and other community organizations. Bilingual children, in particular, can significantly improve their literacy by reading bilingual books in both of their languages. You can also find interactive learning sets that make use of new tap-and-listen technology to make learning lots of fun.

Comment and tell us how you will be celebrating the awesome bilingual children in your life!

SPANISH for KIDS! Interactive Set makes learning fun!

Our new Spanish learning set is a fun and interactive way to keep kids learning during the summer months. Kids will enjoy building their language skills with these interactive sets… independently, with an adult, or with their whole class! Language Lizard also offers an interactive  English early learning literacy pack, and an English phonics set.

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Tickled Pink! Language Fun with Idioms From Around the World

Idioms present a great opportunity for students to have some language learning fun. Here, we discuss idioms, and explore activities that use idioms in the classroom and at home.

From “With Flying Colors: Color Idioms” https://www.languagelizard.com/Color-Idioms-With-Flying-Colors-p/idiomflying.htm

What is an Idiom?

An idiom is a phrase with an underlying meaning that’s generally agreed upon by a large group of people. This meaning can’t be deduced by the phrase’s words alone. The definition of idioms is most easily understood by looking at some familiar examples.

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Culturally Responsive Teaching Set with Lesson Plans & Bilingual Books

Our newest educational resource, Building Bridges With Bilingual Books And Multicultural Resources is now available in a complete teacher’s set. These sets are available in Spanish and Arabic, as well as a set with assorted languages. Read on to learn more about these sets.

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New Resources for Dual-Language Newcomers

Language Lizard has two new books that are perfect for dual-language newcomers, as well as some recommended online resources to help educators build culturally responsive classrooms.

Classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse. Teachers want to foster a safe and inclusive environment for all students, including new immigrant students. These newcomers face many challenges when adapting to a new life in the US: culture shock, making friends, and learning a new language, just to name a few.  

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3 Ways to Celebrate Diversity This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here… and it offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Here, we offer 3 ideas that will inspire kids to celebrate the wonderful diversity and traditions in our communities and our world.

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10 Ideas For Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month

Child reads bilingual book about Egyptian mythology

We love October because it’s Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! What a wonderful opportunity to recognize the children in our lives who speak more than one language, and who also understand multiple cultures. 

Now is the perfect time to start planning ways to encourage literacy and parental involvement, and celebrate the children who work so hard to learn a new language.

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5 Back to School Tips – Bilingual & Multicultural Classrooms

© Language Lizard 2019

You may be a teacher, on the brink of a brand new school year. Or a parent, with kids preparing to head into a new classroom. Here are some of our favorite back-to-school tips and resources to get the school year off to a great start.

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New Bilingual Children’s Book! Food, Food, Fabulous Food

Cover of new children’s bilingual book Food, Food, Fabulous Food

Language Lizard is excited to announce a new bilingual children’s book that will make a great addition to your library or home collection! Food, Food, Fabulous Food introduces young readers to multicultural foods from all around the world.

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