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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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How Beautiful Books Can Positively Affect Kids

By Susie Jaramillo

They say the pen is stronger than the sword. This is usually positioned in the context of Plato, Marx, Niche or journalism, history books or political works.

They say the pen is stronger than the sword. This is usually positioned in the context of Plato, Marx, Niche or journalism, history books or political works.

So can we possibly help bring people together in a country full of friction with a pen, the paintbrush, and our good old Macbook Pro?

Certainly children’s books have been used to encourage the best of our human nature and discourage the worst for hundreds of years.

Beautiful books become even more important when you are introducing a collection of traditional nursery rhymes from one culture to a whole new audience completely unfamiliar with either the language or the roots behind these works.

The marriage between concept and culture, along with lyrics and illustrations, designed to appeal to all, are part of the special sauce in what we do with Canticos.

Canticos books ease audiences into a whole new culture with rhythm, humor and charm. With books like “Little Chickies” or “Little Elephants” children with little to no experience with Hispanic culture can sing some of Latin Americas’ most beloved nursery rhymes.

All of a sudden there is a bond between them and their little Latino classmates who may or may not speak very much English and will feel more welcomed with classmates who can relate to this little bit of his World.

Moms, who understood the value of bilingualism for the brain, rhyming for phonics, and concept books for preschool prep will enjoy our books for toddlers for all of the above. With this simple thing they will also have a little more in common with the average Latina mom that will pick up one of our books and be whisked back to her childhood.

Teachers can also play a role building on concepts that are a fundamental part of every bilingual education while building on cultural celebration and understanding at the same time.

In an era where divisiveness has been at forefront of the media, it’s important that we as artists who serve, find ways of bringing people together with our craft.

It is through telling our stories as best we can to the broadest of audiences that we help shape an integral part of this American tapestry.

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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?