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Story Time and Pronunciation: PLANT A KISS

Pronunciation may well be the hardest part about speaking in English to our kids, more so than lacking(1) vocabulary or not mastering grammar. 

When it comes(2) to trying to speak as naturally as possible, I personally find that intonation and rhythm are perhaps the most tricky(3) features about pronunciation. However, Storytime provide us with priceless opportunities to become experts on those features if we set our minds to it. Far too often(4) parents who wish to read stories in English to their kids worry that their pronunciation is not good enough and that their children will pick up(5) their accents. Rather than being put off(6) by it, I strongly believe that what we should do is stop worrying so much and start using the technology that is available to us.  Thanks to YouTube, for example, we can easily access all the major children's books out there -and for free!. Some rather kind Engish-speaking natives users decided to make our lives easier by recording their voices whilst reading their stories. And while I have the feeling that I am not revealing anything new here (surely I am not the only one using the trick), I wonder how many parents do pay attention to the patterns(7) in intonation or rhythm perhaps too worried about the pronunciation of words. 

My daughter's favourite books at the moment are A Squash and a Squeeze, by J. Donaldson and A. Scheffler and Oh, Dear, by Rod Campbell. We have read them oh so many times (and we still do so on a daily (nightly, rather) basis that I think I'm ready to go and upload a video myself! Btw, I'll try to write a post about the words I did struggle with when I first started reading these two stories (larder...?? agh!). 

Back to intonation. This morning we went to Casa del Libro to look for some new books in English. I didn't have any particular one in mind (I do believe that sometimes books choose us and it's nice to let them do so every now and then(8) so it was a real nice surprise to stumble upon(9) PLANT A KISS, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by P. H. Reynolds. It's about a girl and her small act of love that blooms into something bigger than she anticipated; like us trying to plant the linguistic seeds in our kids, I suppose :) The first thing I did when we got home from the bookshop was check on YouTube if someone had uploaded a video retelling the story and... voilà! - there it was!. I then had to cook lunch, eat and head(10) to work so it wasn't until tonight that I listened to the story which I've totally fallen in love with, by the way. I'll try to watch it a couple of times more before I read the story to my daughter at the weekend so I can practise on the stare/share/dare/rare/bare/care/there, too. But the intonation is just...  If you haven't heard of this book, I strongly recommend you listen to it here. It is simple beautiful!

By the way, what about you? I'd like to know, are you often too worried only about your accent? Or do you worry also about intonation? I'd love to hear from you, especially if you have any other tricks when it comes to pronunciation, intonation, rhthym etc. :)

1-lack: carecer
2-when it comes to (something): en lo que se refiere a
3-tricky: complicado
4-far too often: demasiadas veces, con demasiada frecuencia
5-pick up: aprender, coger (en el sentido de pillar)
6-put off:desalentado
7-patterns: patrón
8-every  now and then: de vez en cuando
9-stumble upon: tropezarse (en sentido figurado)
10-head: ir 


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A must-read: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I'll start off by telling you about my experience using The Very Hungry Caterpillar with my baby daughter. I must say that when I first purchased(1) the book I thought it was far too early to start using it as she was only a few months old. However, I quickly realized that she wasdrawn into it(2)right from the word go(3). 
I began to read it to her when she was about 5 months old and before I knew it, I had memorized the middle part of the story, which is the juicy(4)one!. So, I would retell that part whenever I had the chance(5), especially whilst driving. I remember this being extremely convenient(6) because she hated traveling in the back seat of the car and for some reason the story always calmed her down even if I had to repeat it over and over again(7)!
I later bought a toy caterpillar that we would take with us virtually(8) everywhere. I strongly believe that humans learn best when we can touch, manipulate things. So, carrying the caterpillar around with us made it easier to

Cartoons in English

I have recently come across(1) the blog Crecer en Inglés which contains LOTS of information about how to raise(2) Spanish kids in the English language. The blog also provides a series of podcasts called Aventura Bilingüe where the author examines issues(3) such as How to travel with kids, The Bilingual Brain or The Phonics Method, amongst many others. Our 19 month-old has not been exposed to screens yet. However, I have heard the podcast Dibujos Educativos y Con Valores en Ingléshoping to find something useful to recommend my friends whose kids do watch cartoons. The podcast (in Spanish) reviews two current shows: Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood and Puffin Rock. Aventura Bilingüehighlights(4) some characteristics from both shows that parents themselves may appreciate such as: slow-paced(5) dialogues, lots of vocabulary and educational content
I will deffinitely tell my friends about these TV programmes! 
If you wish to listen to the podcast, click here. ----------------------


Welcome to Baby SPANGLISH. This blog is all about how a Spanish-speaking mum fosters language developement and communication in English with her baby daughter in their home in Barcelona. It seems that there is an increasing number of Spanish-speaking parents who decide to speak in English to their children in the hope that one day they will become bilingual. Being a newbie(1) to the community, I hope that this blog will help me find out more about it. The blog is written in English rather than in Spanish, my mother tongue. This allows me to express myself in the language that I use with me daughter making the whole process more natural to me.

Baby SPANGLISH is not a series of grammar lessons, but rather a space where hopefully we can learn together, linguistically and parenting wise. Because many hands make the work light(1), I hope to contribute in my own particular way. This is why I underlining/bold(2) certain words or expressions in the text and provide a brief glossary at the end o…