Make it a story!

Interaction is crucial when you are learning a language, both for adults and children. A great and fun way to support your son’s language development is to make up stories together.

You might at first think that you are not creative enough to come up with a story, that you wouldn’t even know where to start or how to put a plot together. Fear not, help is at hand. There is nothing more creative and imaginative than a child’s mind. You only need to take the initiative to get the story going by for example starting with the classic “Once upon a time there was a …” then ask your son to complete to sentence.

Believe you me, as long as you have his attention, he will come up with something! From then on it’s easy – say he wants the story to be about a green cat (why not?) All you have to do is to ask questions about the cat:
– what is the cat doing?
– why is it green?
– who are the cat’s friends?
– where does the cat live?
– what would the cat like to do?
– who is the cat feeling?
– why is the cat happy/sad/excited/angry/mystified?
Continue the questions based on the answers your boy is giving and soon you will have created a story together!

If you are looking to practice a specific vocabulary with your son, introduce this topic to the story. Let’s say you want him to learn names of vegetables – ask for example what the cat grows in its garden (of course cats can do gardening, especially green cats!) Does it prefer carrots or cauliflowers or would it rather have peas and beetroot? You can use pictures or drawings to complement the story to make the learning process even easier and more effective.

Another thing I would like to recommend – if you have any means of recording your story, do so! Most mobile phones and laptops have voice recorders on them nowadays, so you could give that a go. When your life gets a little less hectic, you could put the stories into writing. Your son would be delighted to read them later on in life. Not to mention what a treasure the stories would be to the following generation in your family.

May the peace and power be with you.


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  1. A-B-C for parents bringing up bilingual children M-S « multilingual parenting – bilingual children - […] can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you read to your children. Reading stories that you have created…

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