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Bookbug for parents and carers with English as an additional language

If you're bringing up a child in a family where English is an additional language or more than one language is spoken, we have resources available to support you.

Research shows that children can understand more than one language as early as four months, well before they begin to talk. There is no evidence that learning more than one language may confuse a child - in fact, bilingual children are more skilled at dealing with complexity and better at concentrating. Having more than one language will be an advantage for them. For more research and advice on bringing up a bilingual child, visit Bilingualism Matters.(this link will open in a new window)

Key tips

National Literacy Trust bilingual quick tips

National Literacy Trust have created a selection of bilingual quick tip sheets in different languages(this link will open in a new window) for families and practitioners to encouraging talking and listening skills, and sharing stories, songs and rhymes.

Get books in other languages

Bookbug bags are all only available in English and Gaelic. You can still share and enjoy the books in the bags by using the pictures to tell a story in your own language.

Visit your local library! (this link will open in a new window)Many libraries have books in other languages or dual-language books to borrow for free. If you are interested in buying dual-language books, Mantra Lingua(this link will open in a new window) has a range of well-known and undiscovered books in different languages, and Little Linguist(this link will open in a new window) have an extensive range of books in other languages too. Some digital books can be viewed for free at the International Children’s Digital Library.(this link will open in a new window)

Songs and rhymes in other languages

We have songs and rhymes in Scots, Gaelic, Spanish, Polish, Mandarin and Punjabi in our Song and Rhyme library(this link will open in a new window) and on our Bookbug app(this link will open in a new window). We're adding more all the time so please look out for new languages coming soon.

For songs and rhymes in many languages, try the website Mama Lisa(this link will open in a new window), or try searching on YouTube.

Bookbug Sessions in other languages

Bookbug Sessions are run in languages other than English in some areas of Scotland. Check with your local Bookbug Co-ordinator(this link will open in a new window) to find out if there any are running in your area.

Bookbug in Gaelic

Find out more about Gaelic Bookbug bags and Bookbug Sessions(this link will open in a new window).

My experience

Ania, mother of Patryk (18 months)

'My partner and I are from Poland but our son Patryk was born in Scotland, and we’d like him to be bilingual. Since he was born, books and music have become very important to us. I love singing rhymes to him; it’s great fun. I can see he loves listening to me singing and watching me making faces - I think it helps him have a better understanding of words and he is even starting to copy the ‘moves’! I noticed that Patryk prefers Polish rhymes when at home with me, but enjoys rhymes in English at our weekly meetings at the library. Most of the time I sing the rhymes I used to sing or loved myself as a child - it brings back good memories. We also listen to lots of great nursery songs or lullabies on CDs that I buy in Poland. And with the internet, I can quickly and easily find new rhymes and songs for us to learn together. For me, rhymes are the most amusing way to make kids read, write and have fun. It’s time well spent!'