We want all preschool children to start learning the alphabet. That’s not always easy when they come to preschool with different language backgrounds. It can be confusing for a Spanish speaker to see a picture of “una manzana” (Spanish word for apple) next to the letter A while the other kids are saying “aaah”. This multilingual alphabet tool provides example words that start with the same sound in 6 languages so B is for bathtub in English and bañera in Spanish. That’s a great way to get DLLs started! Here are some tips for using this resource in early childhood classrooms:
When helping a bilingual child learn the first letter of their name, enhance the learning by showing them the example for that letter in both languages.
Find the words from the multilingual Alphabet Card in your books, games and environmental print and add them to labels or stickie notes where needed.
Draw children’s attention to the sounds of the letters in their home language and English by using the words in guessing games: “What goes in a nest or nido? What goes in a bathtub or bañera?” “Which of these things makes music/música? Violin/violin? Tower/torre? Xylophone/xilófono? Helicopter/helicóptero?”
Bring one of multilingual Alphabet Posters out to the playground. Build language connections with fun gross motor play: “Who can show us some robot/robot moves? Who can show us some yoga/yoga moves?” “Let’s move like a lion/lion. Who can be an orangutan/orangutan?”
And, send copies of the multilingual Alphabet Card home as conversation starters for families who are bilingual or who want to learn new languages.