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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 08, 2021 -

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Give Your Baby A Little Head Start At Bedtime!

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

‍Like me, you may love bedtime with baby for the bathtime scents, the snuggles, the giggles and the stories.

Like me, you may love bedtime with baby for the bathtime scents, the snuggles, the giggles and the stories.

Bilingual songs and nursery rhymes in particular are wonderful for little ones, as there is a cadence in the rhyming that helps little ears become attuned to phonics and develop early literacy skills.

Why not give toddlers a bilingual advantage by exposing them to nursery rhymes in two languages?

Won’t you both be proud when your toddler effortlessly rattles off a rhyme in English and in a second language, like Spanish?

So, what are some of the benefits of bilingualism?

Countless studies support the idea that bilingualism is good for babies, linking it to:

  • Improved cognitive skills which influence how babies learn, remember, pay attention and problem solve.
  • Improved executive functioning which involves self-control and self-regulation.
  • Protecting the brain later in life which includes the offset of dementia.

And of course, if you’re raising bilingual babies, you’re raising global citizens – opening up their world to more people, cultures, and experiences to enrich their life. Now that feels good!

How can you raise a bilingual baby if you don’t speak a second language?

Surprise! You don’t need to speak a second language to expose your little one to a language like Spanish. Spanish is a completely phonetic language. Each and every letter makes the same sound consistently throughout all vocabulary, making Spanish much easier to read than English!

  • Read:  One of the easiest ways is to pick up a bilingual book and read along one language at a time. Knowing the story in the dominant language helps them process the story in the second language much faster, facilitating their language acquisition. All Canticos books are designed to give kids foundational math, literacy and social emotional skills as they start their bilingual education.
  • Sing: Lullabies and nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce a second language through music. Babies love repetition and hearing the words again and again makes it easier to remember. Canticos’ Emmy-nominated educational videos are all available to watch on YouTube and stream on Spotify, Amazon and Apple music too. Simply press play and they’ll build up that baby brain as they doze off to sleep.
  • Don’t get discouraged: Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Even if your baby never develops full bilingual proficiency, simply exposing your little one to a second language for some period of time has huge benefits!

¡Vamos! Let’s go! It’s never too early to start.  
Bedtime just got better.

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?