Back To School: Deutsch

So in yesterday’s Back To School article we recommended a selection of books perfect for the return to school in September. Whether you want to prepare your child for a new school or nursery, or to brush up on school work over the holidays, we can point you in the right direction.

We have so many gorgeous books perfect for the Back To School season, so we’ve broken it down into languages. Today we are showcasing our German selection. Read on to find links to the books at The Bilingual Bookshop, and don’t forget you can always email us at for advice on suitable foreign-language books for YOUR child, based on YOUR family’s bilingual setup:

Experimentierspaß für kleine Forscher: Jam packed with fun experiments to inspire their curious minds!

Der große Ravensburger Weltatlas: Open up the world to your child with this beautiful atlas. It’s big and it’s beautiful, with text organised into small sections making it accessible to all primary children.

Denkrätsel Mathe & Deutsch: Perfect for keeping those little minds busy over the holidays, or to support their schoolwork at home come September.

Ein Drache im Klassenzimmer: A popular title in the excellent Leserabe series for beginner readers.

Das große Vorschulbuch:  A variety of activities and puzzles – your child won’t even realise they are learning!

Mein erster großer KITA-Tag: A perfect book to gently prepare your child for starting nursery.

Das hab ich selbst gemacht: Get arty with the kids with this wonderful collection of art projects. Photos help to guide you through the text.

Why not head on over to The Bilingual Bookshop now to create your child’s bilingual bookshelf now!

Back to School with The Bilingual Bookshop

What better time to think about your child’s learning material than Back To School time? The start of the academic year is a great time to stock your child’s bilingual bookshelf for the coming months, giving them a fresh set of books for inspiration and language learning, and just learning in general!

At The Bilingual Bookshop we have over a decade of experience in education and language development, and here are our recommendations for great titles to choose for YOUR child as they go Back To School (with FREE delivery until midnight on Sunday 17th August as a thank you to our 500+ Facebook Fans!)

Mi primer día de escuela: a book that seeks to dispel worries about starting school. Complete with activities and an adult guide.

Mein erster großer KITA-Tag: For little ones about to start nursery. A lovely book to make that big step a little easier!

Der große Ravensburger Weltatlas A large, truly beautiful atlas full of wonders to discover and explore. For older children but with small snippets of text so they don’t have to read a lot in one go.

Diccionario de primaria de lengua espanola A good quality spanish children’s dictionary. Perfect for those who are already writing in Spanish.

Das große Vorschulbuch Full of activities and puzzles for those starting school. The well-presented activities will help your child to interpret the instructions for themselves.

L’histoire de France Delve into France’s past, and develop your child’s biculturalism at the same time!

Ein Drache im Klassenzimmer A lovely story from the excellent Leserabe series of graded reading books.

Atlas escolar primaria Another high-quality staple for every Spanish child’s bilingual bookshelf. Again, small amounts of text make the reading experience more accessible and enjoyable.

Les insectes de mon jardin For the backyard explorers amongst your children – perfect for introducing science and discovering the wonders in everyday places.

Comment ça marche ? – Le corps Jam packed with information to astonish and astound – a wonderful way for children to learn about their bodies.

¿Jugamos a ser maestra? A beautiful playset with pop out pieces for your child to set up their own school. What child doesn’t love playing schools? Get them learning Spanish at the same time!

Denkrätsel Mathe & Deutsch 1 – 4Klasse A compilation of activities, games and puzzles for German language and maths practice.

Le doudou de Stella Follow a day in the life of Stella and her friends at the creche.

Mundo mágico atlas en 3D A truly amazing atlas that literally draws your child in to discover the world around them. Complete with 3D glasses!

Experimentierspaß für kleine Forscher An exciting set of experiments for the little scientist in your life to encourage curiosity and a sense of wonder – and an opportunity to learn German!





Remember you can always email us for suggestions to match YOUR particular child’s level and language setup. We are always more than happy to help support bilingual families!

Head over to to build your child’s bilingual bookshelf for the months ahead!


Celebrating our 500 Facebook Fans!

Wow! Today The Bilingual Bookshop is celebrating reaching it’s 500th Facebook Fan!

We wanted to say a huge thank you to all our loyal supporters so far on our journey, and we have really enjoyed meeting many of you at sales and events over the summer period.

We’re really flattered to have such an interesting bunch of Fans – you all lead such unique lives despite all sharing the common denominator of raising bilingual children. We’re love hearing your stories and about your bilingual setups, and the children we have met – YOUR children – have been truly inspirational.

Sir Richard Branson’s Facebook Page has one million more Fans than The Bilingual Bookshop, so we’ve clearly got a long way to go before we can conquer the world, but considering that we started out less than a year ago we’re pretty proud of ourselves!

Anyway, to say a huge thanks to you all, we wanted you to share in our celebration, and we’re offering FREE delivery on all orders until midnight on Sunday 17th August.

So no need to stuff your already overweight suitcases with books on a trip home this summer. No need for excess baggage fees. And no need to spend your precious holiday time in the shops. Head over to and build your child’s bilingual bookshelf NOW!

Bilingual child

5 Ways To Support Your Child’s Language Learning At Home (And Ensure Success!)

The benefits of language learning are well documented, and with the rise of bilingual schools in the UK there are more opportunities than ever for children to learn languages from a young age. From September 2014, all schools in England will be required to teach a foreign language to children aged 7-11. Make sure you know how your child’s school is planning this, and start thinking ahead to ensure you are ready to support your child on such a special journey.


  1. Make time

The precursor to all the following points! The road to bilingualism and / or language competence is a long one – it requires an investment of time and effort – but what better to invest it in than your own child? Language learning no longer needs to be a difficult skill learned at school but forgotten post-16. We are now raising language learners for life – citizens of the world – with language skills that will be of benefit long into the future. Let’s take the time now to set up our children for life.


  1. Be positive

Don’t expect too much too soon, but prepare to be astounded when your child starts to fly! Talk to your child about what they are learning in their language lessons. If you are also a competent speaker of the language then find opportunities to bring the learning points into your daily lives at home. If not, then you can make a difference by showing you are interested, being supportive and praising their efforts!


  1. Travel

Be prepared to set aside holiday time to visit the country your child is learning about – they will need exposure to the language in as many natural situations as possible, and chances to interact with native speakers in a variety of contexts. Cultural awareness is also hugely important, so get involved as a family in food, celebrations, art, architecture, entertainment etc. during your stay. Extend your child’s learning outside the classroom and you’ll not only see a huge difference in their language learning, but also in their enthusiasm for learning.


  1. Enrich your environment

Surround yourself with language and culture at home. The Bilingual Bookshop has a huge selection of books and games for children learning languages, and is happy to advise on products that would suit your particular situation. Download an app for one of the country’s radio stations, display photos of holidays to the country, bring home souvenirs to have in your home. Any way you can bring physical reminders of the country into your home will help your child to feel they are part of it.


  1. Seek role models and be one yourself

Role models can provide inspiration and an excellent example to your child. From children in the park on holiday to sportsmen and women in televised championships, from film and music stars to penfriends, other families or a new babysitter – be aware of opportunities to highlight and interact with other language speakers in your family’s daily life. If you don’t speak the language, why not enrol in classes yourself – learn alongside your child so you can share in their journey. Ensure that you take up opportunities to inspire and support your child at every step and you’ll be on the road to success!


Good luck!


Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Guest post: Can you help the UK Bilingual Toddlers Project?

The Bilingual Bookshop has partnered with the UK Bilingual Toddlers Project – an exciting research project and joint collaboration between universities in Plymouth, Liverpool, Bangor, Kent, Oxford and Birmingham  – whose aim is to find out just how bilingual children learn language.

Samantha Durrant, Research Assistant at the Plymouth BabyLab has written this guest post to explain a little more about their research and how YOUR bilingual family can help in the study. You and your little one can take part by signing up here.

Raising your child bilingually is a great gift and benefits children in many ways, lots of which we, as researchers, are only just discovering. Yet it is very likely that you, as parents of bilingual toddlers, have heard many times that ‘Your child will be a little delayed because they are bilingual’ or had bilingualism used as an explanation for any questions you might have about your child’s language development.

Of course we are aware that bilingual children do talk a little later than their monolingual peers, and we are aware that they often know fewer words in each language than children learning only one language. Are we surprised by this? No, not really. What these children are doing is learning at least two (sometimes more) languages at the same time. They have to learn that every object they see and everything they do has at least two names and they have to learn the morphology (in English this is when –s is added to words to mean more than one) and the grammar of both of these languages, all at the same time as learning to walk, to run, to climb, to draw etc. And bilingual children do all of this, without any direct ‘teaching’ of either language, simply by being immersed in a bilingual environment. As an adult the same task is a real challenge, but bilingual children just do it.

But what about when a parent of a bilingual child feels there is something wrong that goes over and above the fact that their child is learning two languages? Bilingual children are not immune to having the same difficulties with language as monolingual children but because there is little information available about what is typical in the development of bilingual children, these children having difficulties with languages can slip through the net until much later.

What can we do about it?

Here at Plymouth University, in collaboration with universities across the UK – Bangor, Birmingham, Kent, Liverpool and Oxford, we are collecting information from bilingual families to develop an idea of what is ‘normal’ language development for a bilingual child. We are doing this by asking parents of bilingual children who are about to have or have just had their second birthday to fill out a word list in each of the child’s languages. We can then use this information to create a snap shot of how many words bilingual children know at this age. In addition to these word lists we are also asking some questions that will allow us to work out how much of each language the child hears: we would not expect a child who only hears English for 10% of the time to know as many words as they do in their other language. We are also asking some questions about the family life of the child, who they live with, and some questions about their parents etc to ensure that the information we end up with is applicable to children in all sorts of family situations.

The ultimate goal of this project is that this information can be used by healthcare professionals and speech therapists to identify bilingual children who are in need of extra support and implement interventions early.

How can you help?

To do this we need lots of help from bilingual families from all over the UK, from all backgrounds and languages. You can sign up to our website and then when your child approaches their second birthday we will be in touch for you to begin completing the questionnaires. If you have any questions about the study you can get in touch with us at We also have a Facebook page where you can get more information about the project.

Bilingual Family

Getting The Balance Right: 9 Ways To Boost The Minority Language

It is always important to us that we try to strike the best balance possible between the languages our children are exposed to at home. With me being at home with them the most, English is definitely the ‘majority’ language, and therefore we try to make the most of every minute that Papi is home to immerse everyone in Spanish. Here are some tips we hope will help others to get the language balance right in their homes:

  1. Bilingual Bathtime

For those parents who get home in time for bathtime, it’s a great time to take over childcare. Not only does your partner get a well earned rest, but you can immerse your child (excuse the pun!) in some valuable language learning. More info on Bilingual Bathtime to come!

2. Bilingual Bedtime

Again, a great time for the minority-language parent to take over. Bedtime routines are full of opportunities for talk: discussing what happened during the day and, of course, bedtime stories. Perfect for language learning! More info on Bilingual Bedtime in the pipeline too!

3. Use audio CDs at bedtime and naptimes
If the minorty-language parent isn’t around at bedtime, use audiobooks in the target language so your child can relax before falling asleep. For younger babies, Lullaby CDs would be perfect.

4. Watch a DVD to wind down before bed
Too much TV is discouraged, but the value of DVDs in the minority-language is immense. Choose current programmes that feature typical characters from the other country for a bicultural experience.

5. Play songs and nursery rhymes in the car and sing, sing, sing!
A great way to keep children occupied on any journey, action songs, nursery rhymes or even current hits in the minority-language are great for adding some extra language exposure. We have some lovely ones available at The Bilingual Bookshop so why not get your hands on one now?

6. Internet radio
In the UK, internet radios are now widely available and a great resource for bringing the minority language into the home. Alternatively, listen via the web on your computer or smartphone, or download an app that has preinstalled world radio channels.

7. Reach out to relatives
Use the wonders of Skype to get in touch with relatives abroad for some valuable language immersion. Use your laptop or a smartphone app if your little one doesn’t like sitting still for long – then you are not limited to having to sit at the computer. And summer holidays are much cheaper if you can stay with them!

8. Saturday morning immersion
If one of you spends less time with the kids than the other due to work commitments, Saturday mornings are a great time for some language immersion. Otherwise known as ‘me time’ for one parent, and ‘spending time with the kids’ for the other!

9. Seek out local playgroups
It can be difficult to find local playgroups using the target language, but where they do exist they provide an invaluable resource for the community! Check with your local Children’s Centre to see if they know of, or run any, and if one doesn’t exist near you, how about setting one up?



Image courtesy of photostock /

bilingual baby name

6 Tips on Choosing A Name For Your Bilingual Baby

Whether it’s a last minute decision or its planned well in advance, choosing a name for your beautiful bundle is an exciting but important decision…and one that will stick with them for the rest of their lives! However, for bilingual families, choosing a name requires double the consideration as a name that works well in one language could be a disaster in another!

Here are 6 tips to help you make that all important decision:

1.    Do you want your child’s name to be the same in both languages or do you feel it’s valuable that they grow up understanding name differences (e.g. “In English I’m John, in French I’m Jean”)?

2.    Are there some sounds in either language that you want to avoid due to the difficulty pronouncing them in the other? We deliberately avoided the letter ‘j’ or ‘c’ when choosing our daughter’s name as they are pronounced very differently in English and Spanish. Make it easy on them!

3.    Are you and your family well settled or might you move country at some point? In either case, it’s worth remembering that your child will need to give and spell their full name countless times, especially over the phone. It’s a good idea to make their lives as simple as possible in this sense! In the UK I always have to spell ‘Sánchez’, but unfortunately I always need to spell ‘Cheryl’ too as it is often misunderstood on the telephone (Shirley, Michelle, Sharon…) – even an English name can be difficult on the phone.

As a bilingual family, you may already have a surname stemming from your native country. This automatically gives rise to challenges when giving your name in the host country. It’s a good idea, then, to stick to a first name that is easy to pronounce and spell in order to avoid further difficulty.  On the other hand, if your surname is common in the host country – easily pronounced with a simple spelling – then perhaps you’d like to be more adventurous with a first name in order to reflect the other culture?

4.    Some parents like to take the opportunity to reflect something or someone from their native culture in their child’s name. This can be a valuable learning opportunity as your child grows up.

5.    Check that the name you choose does not have negative connotations in the other language, especially if it is pronounced wrong. Check that initials work well together and don’t spell anything ‘unsuitable’ in either language. My husband vetoed the name ‘Toby’ for our boy’s name as he was convinced it sounded like a name you would give a dog in Spain!

6.    Remember also, that although a name may sound appropriate, it may be quite dated and old-fashioned. Is it a suitable name for a child of this generation? Using a dated name is currently quite fashionable in the UK, but it can seriously damage ‘street cred’ if you get it wrong!

If you and your partner speak different languages, the above tips should help you to decide on a name between you, but if you both speak a different language to that of the host country you may need to do a little research. In either case, I hope the tips help a little on the way to making sure the name you choose sets your child up for a strong and happy future! Good luck!


Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography /