Raising a Bilingual Child
Teaching Tips: The Daddy Show
A constant thought in my mind is “What can I do to help my two children develop their English language skills while living in Japan?”
I have done and am currently always researching and looking for new ideas. Also, my background as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher has helped a lot. It is a constant learning process however and I want to share some helpful tips I’ve learned with anyone else their raising children in a multi language environment.
The Daddy Show:
I came across this idea while reading a blog sometime ago. I can no longer remember when I read it exactly of even which blog it came from, but it is an idea that stuck in my head. Since I have a background in video editing (one of my hobbies being video blogging) this seemed like such an awesome idea. Even with very limited skills in using a video editor, anyone could do this as well.
I have basically created a short “television” show that my son can watch when I am not at home. He of course has a small library of English DVDs that he watches throughout the day, but I wanted him to have more of a chance to listen to my voice and “interact” with me when I was at work.
Basically what I did was choose 3 short story books that my son likes. I chose “Me and My Dad” by Mercer Mayer, “The Daddy Book” by Todd Parr and “The Feelings Book” also by Todd Parr. I chose 4 or 5 songs that my son enjoys like “Bingo”, “Open Shut Them”, “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, etc. I then mixed a lot of dialogue in there. I would ask my son questions like “How do you feel today?” and then leave a pause so he had time to answer.
I set up my iPhone on a counter, sat down and started filming. I had to make several takes of some of the sings, but it was a lot of fun to do. I then downloaded all the video clips onto my MacBookPro and began to edit them in iMovie. If you have a PC you can easily use can editing program like Windows Movie Maker. There are also many free editing suites out there that are relatively easy to use.
I added some titles at the beginning and then before each song and story, clearly introduced what I was about to do. When I shot the video I looked straight into the camera as if it were my son. I also addressed the camera as my son. That way, when my son watched the DVD, I was making eye contact with him and he really felt it was “for him.”
In the end, my first episode of “The Daddy Show” was about 20 minutes long. I plan to make more in the future and now I’ll be including my daughter in them. Of course, you can make it “The Mommy Show” if you’re a mother or name it anything you want.
If you have any problems with using an editor like iMovie, there are free and easy to follow tutorials on apple.com and of course, as with any editing program, there are many video tutorials on YouTube. Just do a quick search and any questions you have can be quickly answered.
Hope you liked my teaching tip and hopefully you can make your own “TV show” for your kids or friends.
You can follow me on Twitter: @jlandkev