Presentation on theme: "Hennepin County Library World Language Storytimes"— Presentation transcript:
1 Hennepin County Library World Language Storytimes My name is Bernie Farrell I am a youth services librarian with Hennepin County Library, which is a system of 26 libraries that serve 46 suburban communities outside of Minneapolis. HCL has made a commitment to help make reading an important part of families’ lives—and to help children to be ready to learn to read when they start school. I’ve been with HCL for four years as a YS librarian in one of the smaller neighborhood libraries in Bloomington—near the Mall of America. The community where I work is in transition as the older members of the community are transitioning into apartments and assisted living, and many young families are buying houses in this area. The community is also very diverse. Our building has a World Language collection that features Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali. Our library is also across the street from a middle school and an elementary school, so we can be very busy after school. Before working for Hennepin County, I worked for two years as a library assistant in a middle school and for six years as a home visitor with Wilder Child Guidance Center and St. Paul Early Childhood Family Education. As a home visitor, I worked with lots of children who were struggling with behavior issues, language delays, family violence, poverty and other factors that can affect a child’s readiness to learn. Even before becoming a librarian, I witnessed the power of language and story to excite children, to help them resolve emotional issues, and to give them the tools they need to succeed.Bernie Farrell Hennepin County LibraryWhat children need to be ready to learn to read
2 Portions of this presentation are taken from a joint project of the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children (divisions of the American Library Association).For more information, go to: and click on the Every Child Ready to Read icon.Hennepin County Library Storytime Best Practices are based on research by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and was further developed by the Hennepin County Library Early Literacy Team in partnership with the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children, divisions of the American Library Association. The “World Language Best Practices” are culled from this work as well as the work of Lillian Duran and Angel Passe. Although this conference is particularly focused on Spanish, we developed our “best practices” documents to be used by librarians and community partners for any of the languages our collection supports.In your handouts, you have the entire packet of guidelines for successful storytimes developed by Hennepin County Library. Today I will be focusing particularly on “World Languages Storytime Best Practices” and “Components of a World Language Storytime.” These documents were developed as supporting materials to be used in conjunction with the all the “best practices” documents.
3 What is “early literacy”? Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read or write.So, first, a little overview of what I am sure you already know and practice. What is “early literacy”?*MOUSE* Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read or write.That is, early literacy skills are what kids need before they learn to read.
4 Why do this now?Children get ready to read long before they start school.From the first months through age 2, children’s experiences with oral language development and literacy build a foundation for later reading success.From 2 to 3 years of age, children begin to produce understandable speech in response to books and the written marks they create.From 3 through 4 years of age, children show rapid growth in literacy.So why is it so important to talk about literacy and what children need before they start school?Because children need a strong foundation of acquired skills long before they begin a formal education.From the time children are just a few months old, their experiences with oral language development begin to build that foundation. As babies, while they may only begin to babble themselves, they are able to hear and distinguish others’ patterns of speech.By the time children are two or three years old, their speech has developed enough that they can respond to books and their own written marks, which may look to us like scribbles.From three through four years of age, we begin to see a huge increase in their early literacy skills.[Source for age indicators in slide shown: Burns, Griffin, & Snow, 1999; Strickland & Morrow, 1988; Weaver, 1988.]
5 Why do this now?The earlier shared reading begins, the more likely children will have better language scores when assessed at four years of age.Research has also shown that the age at which parents started to read to their children is associated with their children’s interest in and enjoyment of reading activities.Librarians play a role by encouraging parents to read, providing materials and modeling early literacy techniques.Shared reading, which is also known as shared book reading, reading aloud, or story book reading, is “the act of reading a storybook aloud to a child.”The age at which shared reading begins has consistently been shown to be a strong predictor of individual differences in young children's language abilities.One study found a significant correlation between the reported age of the beginning of shared reading and language scores at four years of age.Research also has shown that the age at which parents started to read to their children is associated with their children's interest in and enjoyment of reading activities. In cultures with a strong tradition of oral storytelling, encourage parents to share that with their children as well.[Source: Adam Payne, Grover Whitehurst, and Andrea Angell. “The Role of Home Literacy Environment in the Development of Language Ability in Preschool Children for Low-Income Families”. Early Childhood Research Quarterly v. 9 issues 3-4 (1994) p ][Source for definition of “shared reading” taken from p11 of “Let’s Read: Literature Review” March 2004 which can be found atIn turn, a child's interest in reading activities is an important predictor of his or her later reading achievement.
6 Why do this now?Learning pre-reading skills now will make it easier for children to learn to read when they start school.Learning to read and write is essential to school (and life!) success.So any time we start to read with children– and build their early literacy skills—will help them succeed!Therefore, learning pre-reading skills now will make it easier for your children to learn to read when they start school, and they will enjoy reading more.Learning to read and write is essential to success in school—and beyond school.So any time we start to read with children—and build their early literacy skills—will help them succeed!
7 Developing pre-reading skills The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child’s success in learning to read.Reading or sharing stories with children is one way to talk with them, and it helps them understand their world.The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child’s success in learning to read.[SOURCE: Catherine Snow. “The Contacts of Literacy: What Children Learn from Learning to Read Books” in W. H. Teale Emergent Literacy: Writing and Reading, Norwood (as cited in Reach Out and Read Program Manual.]Reading or sharing stories with children is one way to talk with them, and it helps them understand their world. Encouraging parents to read with their children in their home language supports parents in their role as their child’s first teacher.Reading or sharing books with children is one way to talk with them and it helps them understand their world.
8 What if the parents don’t read English? Providing opportunities for children to read in their home language connects reading to love, caring and family.Reading with children in their home language helps give that language status.How we read to children is as important as how often we read to them. All the reasons I stated before are just as important in families where parents may not speak English or may not speak it fluently. In addition, here are some other important reasons for parents to read in the language of their hearts:Providing opportunities for children to read in their home language connects reading to love, caring and family.Reading with children in their home language helps give that language status. This also connects back to parents as the first teacher and how important it is for a child to experience reading as very important and something they do with their parents or caregivers.
9 What if the parents don’t read English? Children learn more from books when they are actively involved: when they can ask questions and when stories can be explained and deepened by caring adults.Children learn more from books when they are actively involved: when they can ask questions and when stories can be explained, connections can be made and caring adults are involved and engaged in the storytelling process. Parents will be able to engage in dialogic reading and oral storytelling if they feel comfortable with the language they are using. These pre-reading skills are what’s most important, and we want to empower parents to help their children.If parents engage their children in stories, either through the oral tradition or through reading in their home language, they are building in their children pre-reading skills such as narrative structure, the arc of a story, making predictions about what will happen and drawing inferences. These are all high level pre-reading skills that parents can best share with their children in a language and oral traditions that they know best.
10 Why World Language Storytimes? Families who speak languages other than English have significantly less access to formal storytimes. World Language Storytimes are an opportunity for these families to gain the early literacy benefits of storytime.Families who speak languages other than English have significantly less access to formal storytimes. World Language Storytimes are an opportunity for these families to gain the early literacy benefits of storytime.
11 Why World Language Storytimes? The primary goal of World Language Storytimes is to demonstrate to parents and caregivers how to effectively share books with children and to support families as they help their children with early reading success.The primary goal of World Language Storytimes is to demonstrate to parents and caregivers how to effectively share books with children and to support families as they help their children with early reading success.
12 World Language Storytime Best Practices World Language Storytimes can be offered for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.Offer storytimes in languages that your collection supports.--In my current WL storytime, I also have parents who bring their early elementary aged children. They understand the value of encouraging their children’s continued growth in Spanish literacy.--One of the goals of any storytime is to introduce families to the wonderful resources available in your collection. You want to encourage families to take books home and read them, so you need to be able to provide this. For me, there is nothing worse than introducing a child to a book and then not being able to send a copy home—or at least order it!
13 World Language Storytimes Best Practices Best practices outlined in “Components for a Successful Storytime” are applicable to World Language Storytimes.Use these Best Practices as guidelines. Each community is unique.Show the link for the “Components of a Successful Storytime” and explain that the World Languages piece is a supporting documentCitations: PLA and Hennepin County.
14 World Language Storytime Best Practices Librarian presents World Language Storytime together with a community partner who is a native speaker of the target language and who has had training in storytime best practices.--Currently, I am working with a volunteer who I met through a Family Literacy program in Bloomington. I’ve worked with her for a full year now, and she is blossoming as a presenter. She takes all the books home and practices them with her four-year-old daughter. Over time, I have seen her become more and more comfortable with herself. At first she needed a lot of coaching from me regarding dialogic reading, asking questions to bring out more of the story, finding out if the children were catching the hints in the pictures, etc. Now she is much more comfortable in doing those things herself. She has also been invaluable to me in evaluating materials that are suitable for storytime. Most of all, she is one of those gems who is passionate about early literacy for her own child and the children of her community. For her this is a mission.
15 World Language Storytime Best Practices Librarian provides: coaching, knowledge of the collection and early literacy resources.Community partner provides in-depth knowledge of the language and cultural practices that enrich the storytime experience.--To provide the in-depth early literacy experience, e.g., the ability to expand the story, the answer questions, to make connections to other experiences, we must have a fluent native speaker. In addition, preschoolers are not well-served by a person who cannot pronounce the words well. Part of early literacy is developing the ability to distinguish letter sounds and words, and we are not serving young children well when we pronounce words incorrectly.
16 Native Speakers of Target Language Families speak the target language at home, and they may also speak English or be learning EnglishGoal: To model early literacy techniques and to teach the target language group (e.g., families who speak Spanish, Hmong or Somali) about library resources.--We have found two main audiences for our World Language storytimes and have adapted our storytimes accordingly. In actuality, the storytimes seem to have elements of both audiences, but primarily one or the other.
17 Native Speakers of Target Language Entire story, dialogue, and follow-up activities will be presented by the native-speaking partner in the target language, including early literacy tips.The librarian may use some English to welcome families, introduce storytime, describe library resources or events and to coach the native-speaking partner.Special efforts should be made to thoroughly explain library services and resources, for both adults and children.--All elements of the storytime that are specifically for the children or connected to literacy are presented in the target language.----It is important for the librarian to be available during the storytime as the “friendly face” of the library. This will often lead to further reference questions, reader’s advisory, etc.--WL storytimes give us the opportunity to reinforce parents role as their child’s best teacher. We can reinforce to parents that they are giving their child something that no one else may be able to—their native language and culture. Research shows that this supports healthy self-esteem and academic achievement.--Encourage parents to read to their children at home and talk to their children as well as oral language is an important part of early literacy development. For my WL language storytimes, I always include at least one lap sit book so that parents and children read together in storytime. I usually use bilingual books and encourage parents to use their most fluent language.
18 Native Speakers of Target Language In many cultures, reading is not done “for fun,” but more for gathering information. Use nonfiction books as part of the storytime. Explain the “fun” component of storytime.In many cultures libraries are either non-existent or a resource for academic use only. Families may not be familiar with the “public library” concept and services, especially services for young children.--Parents and caregivers may need to be encouraged to participate and need and explanation about why their participation is so important.--Use activities that are generally culturally acceptable for the families. Start with these and then build on others. Your community partner can be very helpful in this respect. This is especially important in choosing songs, chants and fingerplays.
19 Native Speakers of Target Language You may need to be more directive with families about the mechanics of “how a storytime works” and encourage them to participate.--A reminder, just like any other storytime, just because a little one is sitting there glued to his mother, never singing or dancing, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a very important experience, e.g. “Joe.”
20 Native Speakers of Target Language Use books that have a high context for target culture, e.g. stories and props the families may be able to identify with.Use books that have simple concepts and very literal themes. Look carefully at the illustrations and make sure that they support the text.--Since collections are small, it is not always easy to follow these guidelines.--Some of the most successful books I’ve used have been the Maisy books. Kids have seen this character on TV.--Books about animals can bring up interesting conversations, since animals have different names in different countries.
21 Native Speakers of Target Language Just like any other storytime, as you continue and develop cohesiveness in your group, you can stretch them with more challenging stories.--I have been very specific when using a book that described something “American” or northern, e.g., snowmen, and we spent a long time talking about making snowmen, different kinds of snow, etc. I have also been very specific when teaching a Spanish translation of a traditional “American” song, e.g., Eensy Weensy Spider. I let parents know that their children will definitely sing it in preschool or kindergarten, and if they sing it now in Spanish they will understand what it means and it will be something familiar to them in school, even if it’s the English words.
22 Immersion AudienceThis storytime may have a mixed audience. Some parents do not speak target language, but want their children exposed to a second language.Some families have one parent who speaks the target language and the other parent doesn’t.
23 Immersion Audience Native speakers may also attend this storytime. Goal: To introduce literature in the target language and to model early literacy techniques.--This may be a storytime where you decide to introduce translations of familiar songs or fingerplays, e.g., The Itsy Bitsy Spider, first, and move to the more unfamiliar songs a bit later, e.g., Los Elefantes.
24 Immersion AudienceLibrarian will lead the discussion, and the native-speaking partner will read the stories and lead songs and other activities.Dual language education indicates that children learn two languages best when they are kept separate.Read book entirely in target language and then discuss book in English.Summarize book in English before reading story. Then have the native-speaking partner read the book entirely in target language.Read text in target language, and briefly summarize key points in English at the same time.E.g., On this page Carlito saw a monster and he got scared, didn’t he? This way you are reinforcing comprehension, but not translating word for word, which can get tiresome, and, in terms of language acquisition, is not best practice.
25 Use books with more literal themes Immersion AudienceWhen using books with bilingual text on each page, read only the target language.Use books with more literal themesThemed storytimes may work well for highlighting new vocabulary words and allowing families to continue conversations at home.--A word about themes: I agree that themed storytimes can work very well especially for vocabulary development, but I personally find it very difficult to do with a limited collection. A theme I have found that works is “letter of the week,” and I will find at least one book, song or fingerplay that has a main character that represents the letter.
26 Immersion AudienceGive clear guidelines about how the storytime is set up and the goals.Include culturally traditional stories or songs, not just translations.
27 Incorporating the Six essential early literacy skills 0:20
28 Six pre-reading skills Print awarenessVocabularyLetter knowledgePrint motivationPhonological awarenessNarrative skillsResearch has identified six pre-reading skills that children need before they are ready to learn to read. We’ll define each of these, and then we’ll talk about how you can build these skills for children at different ages.The Best practices documentation has many examples. I will only focus on specifics that are related to a World Language storytime, but the other documents can be used as well.
29 Print awareness Encourage children to print their own nametags. Add “print” words to the environment. Keep to one language.Use flip charts with words to action songs and fingerplays.Point to letters and words as you read.--You can provide parents with handouts in target language and English. They are often appreciative of this since they have different goals. This may also increase parent’s participation at home since they will have the tools they need in the language they are most comfortable with. The print that the children see, however, should be in one language only.
30 Vocabulary Use books with realistic and literal illustrations. Be aware that there may be slight variations in the words used by people from different countries or regions.--If you can tell the story looking at the pictures, you have a literal translation. Benefits families who have not been in formal literacy settings.--Word variations give you the opportunity to talk about differences, various meanings for the same word and build vocabulary.For example, you could make a word wall that shows all the different words for “pig” and other animals.
31 VocabularyUse stories that are vocabulary rich. Explain the meaning of unfamiliar words before reading the story.Read the text first. If you have more than ten unfamiliar words, the book is too difficult.Use objects from the target culture to encourage further conversation and promote understanding.
32 Narrative Skills Use a puppet to help tell and retell a story Many cultures have strong oral traditions. Invite parents and caregivers to share stories from their childhoods or lead songs.--This adds to storytime participation, and reinforces the role of parents as teachers.
33 Narrative SkillsProvide support and understanding for parents and children to participate.Use wordless books or have pictures and prompt a story. Give families some time to practice.--Silliness might be embarrassing. Not knowing all the words may also feel embarrassing.--Use some of the same songs or fingerplays throughout the storytime series.
34 Phonological Awareness Use culturally familiar music, fingerplays and rhymes. These activities help with rhyming and alliteration.When you use common American songs, you are helping create new traditions.--Orozco, Ada Alma Flor, Cri-Cri--Remember to share with families that their child will also encounter these songs in school. When sharing Mother Goose and Euro-American folktales, you are also helping the child build a body of knowledge that is assumed when children get to school. You can also ask parents if they have similar tales from their culture.
35 Phonological Awareness Use themes to create repetitions of words and sounds.Point out words that start with the same sound.Choose books that incorporate rhymes and point them out.Ask parents and storytime partner to share rhyming chants or games.
36 Letter KnowledgeHave a “Letter of the Week,” and encourage families to emphasize that letter all week.Use a letter theme for your storytime.Have letters available for children to use, e.g. alphabet squares, magnetic letters.Choose fun alphabet books to share, such as “A is for airplane / A es para avión.”--This year, I ‘ve had a lot of good luck with the “mystery bag.” Children bring something to storytime that starts with the letter of the week. It helps us learn vocabulary and children are very proud and creative in their choices.
37 Letter KnowledgeNametags, name songs, focusing on the first letter of each child’s name.Point to letters or the beginning of words as you read—point out instances of the letter of the week.--Cri-Cri, Marche de las letras—las vocales. Very fun and known to most Mexican parents.
38 Print MotivationEncourage parents and children to sit together or very close.Model how much fun reading is.Use a variety of formats.Read silly stories.Encourage parents to make reading a fun, low pressure family activity.--Letting parents know that they can help their children be prepared for school, but they don’t have to be able to read well in English.--Letting parents know that even if they can’t read at all, they can still share books and stories with their children.
39 Spreading the Early Literacy Message Plan how you will share early literacy tips during each storytime.Connect the early literacy tip to an activity or story you share during storytime.--I specifically connect it to the “Every Child Ready to Read” pamphlet.
40 Spreading the Early Literacy Message Schedule World Language Storytimes regularly, not just during “festival” times.Recommend 4 sessions when working with a community partner.
41 Spreading the Early Literacy Message Showcase your World Language collection during storytime.Look for nonfiction titles that go beyond shapes and colors.Go out in the community and have World Language storytimes at a church, community organization or another place where the community is comfortable.
42 Spreading the Early Literacy Message Tell parents that using the library and reading in both English and the child’s native language will help their child learn better in school.Parents receive conflicting information regarding using their native language with their children versus learning English only.--Parents want their children to succeed in school, but they may not know what they can do to help them before they enter school in the United States.--Thank the parents for all they are doing for their children.--These best practices are research-based and documented. Reinforce to the parents that their children are surrounded by English and that they will quickly learn English in school. All the information about life, the vocabulary and rich language they learn from parent’s stories, the questions they can ask and the connections they make are the important teachings that parents can give their children at home. Those children will then do better in school. Emphasize that parents can give their children all kinds of support in pre-reading skills, that will help their children learn and understand English, but reading, talking and singing with them in their native language.
43 Case Studies “Mama, Do You Love Me?” by Barbara Joosse. Books published in SpainWords for songs--A great storytime book, with a repeating theme, usually, but the words and pictures were so unfamiliar. There were not translations into Spanish for many of the words, and my community partner felt that people wouldn’t understand it.--Sometimes it’s very hard to find the words for the songs. Be careful of the internet—there can be lots of versions. Helpful for me: Cri-Cri, Jose Luis-Orozco, Jim Rule and community members.
44 Case Studies Have community partner help you select stories Have enough lead time so that you and your community partner can practiceBuild relationships with familiesLearn a bit of another language and other cultures.--Always build in enough time for your community partner to look over the books and give feedback. One book I picked had repeating phrases that used a verb form used in Spain but not Latin America. The community partner did use it because the story was good, but she changed the verbal phrase.
45 Case Studies You have to leave your comfort zone. The difference between earlier “bilingual” storytimes that I led and World Language storytimes is tremendous.--You do a lot of work to prepare the storytime but you are not in charge.--You are in an environment where you do not understand what is happening all the time.--The first storytimes I did were at MIRA, a community resource center for Spanish speaking families. I worked with Tammy Pineda, and we did a “bilingual” storytime model. With this model, we choose books that were available in both English and Spanish. Tammy would read a page in Spanish, and then I would read a page in English. We had a hard time keeping the children engaged, and we could only do about two stories a session because it took so long.--After the workshops with Angel and Lillian, we decided to change our presentation to reflect the research in how young children really are learning and responding. In our very first storytime, the change was immediate and affirming. We had preschoolers who were engaged, shouting out in Spanish and turning to their parents to comment. I felt like I feel when I know things are going right in my English language storytimes.--In addition to the children becoming more engaged, our storytime collection suddenly got much bigger because we could now use the many fine books that were available only in Spanish.
46 Case StudiesWhen the children are engaged, focused, singing, laughing, and shouting out, you know that you’re doing the right thing.--It’s more difficult to provide a World Language Storytime and it takes more time and planning, but it is worth it for your community. You will also grow as a librarian. You will find that families will come to you for reference questions and further help when their children start school. I encourage you all to try it. You all know the signs of a great storytime that’s engaging and reaching children, and we’re all in this business to spread the love of reading and bookjoy. When the children are engaged, focused, singing, and laughing, you’ll know it’s right.And now I’ll turn the presentation over to Angie Meyer, a public librarian, who helped create 'Latino Storytime Kits,' a resource for conducting bilingual storytimes at her library Then we will have some time for questions. Thank you.
47 Spanish Storytime At Dodge Center Public Library Angie Meyer