Here are the “ah-ha!” moments that led to our commitment to trilingual picture books.
At lunch in a preschool classroom,” says Alison, creator of this series,“I used to place a bilingual child, Maria, next to my special ed student who had trouble with any language, and came from a Spanish speaking home. But when I would try to engage Maria in speaking Spanish with me, Maria would look insulted and reply in English.” “Every lunch time the children would practice counting in Spanish or English before we began serving. By spring they could count to 20, forwards and backwards, in either language. So one day I asked if they would like to count in Turkish, as I was learning some basic vocabulary for a trip to Turkey. This led to a lot of questions and laughs, as we went from “the beer language” (one in Turkish is bir) to the “itchy knee language” (one and two in Japanese)." “I could almost see Maria’s thoughts as she looked around at her friends. I believe she went from thinking of her Spanish as almost shameful and certainly private, to realizing that her ability to speak two languages was something valuable. To have a child realize this at age 4 or 5 instead of in high school can have a huge impact. They are more likely to retain and use a second language that is in their family, or to learn a second language while at the peak ages for such learning.” “Maria’s “ah-ha” moment translated into speaking Spanish with me at lunch from that day on . My “ah-ha” moment watching her translated into launching this trilingual publishing effort.”
"The advantages of bilingualism holds independently of whether the (second) language is spoken by many speakers..." Dr. Teresa Parodi, Dept of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Cambridge University
www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/bilingualism is good for learning