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Very young children learn languages through listening to their parents talking and singing to them but not all of us are bilingual. Russell Edwards looks at ideas to encourage an early love of languages…

Quel temps fait-il Berthe?

(ISBN: 9780955467936 available from

‘Quel temps fait-il Berthe?’ introduces children to the French vocabulary for different types of weather and clothing. Berthe is going outside but the weather keeps changing - and therefore so does her choice of clothes!

The simple French sentences and delightful pencil illustrations will appeal to young kids. There is a simple weather pairs game to photocopy and play, a wordsearch and a French-English word list containing all of the words featured in the story.

The book forms part of a series including Bonjour Berthe, Les Amis de Berthe, La Semaine de Berthe, Berthe Fait une Pizza.

Deutsch! Deutsch!

The Language Factory have a fantastic series of CDs to start your children off singing. Their German set: Deutsch! Deutsch! has over 125 tracks of songs, raps, rhymes, folksongs, jokes and more. All the tracks are spoken or sung by native speakers and cover a wide range of topics: alphabet, numbers, colours, days, greetings, weather, clothes, sports, to list a few.

There is a book to accompany the CDs that also deals with masculine/feminine words by cleverly colour coding them. The text is cross-referenced to the CD so the relevant tracks can be easily linked. The same high standard of content is also found in the French and Spanish CD sets.

First Thousand Words in Polish

By Heather Amery and illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

(ISBN: 9780746087008 – Usborne Publishing)

A popular addition to the best-selling First Thousand Words Language series, these books are an excellent way to encourage language learning for beginners. With 1000 everyday words combined with pictures, this is a valuable vocabulary building tool for young children or for beginners of any age. Kids are able to associate the Polish words with the pictures at the same time as seeing how to pronunciate them. This really helps with long-term learning.

The book also includes a fun game to search out the yellow duck on every page! Listen to a native speaker too on the Usborne Publishers Quicklinks website.

The series also includes First Thousand Words in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish . . .

I Took The Moon For a Walk

 Bilingual English/Spanish version By Carolyn Curtis and illustrated by Alison Jay (Mantra Lingua Publishers)

Follow the magical adventure of a young boy who goes exploring with his friend, the Moon. This enchanting book combines lyrical verse with detailed illustrations, creating a dramatic backdrop for this imaginative journey. Children can discover all kinds of facts about the passage of the moon across the sky and its influence on our lives. Ideal for shared reading.

This is the bilingual version in English and Spanish but also comes in other bilingual versions. It can also come with a CrayonPEN, an amazing tool which brings sound to paper. When the pen touches the book that is pen-enabled, it speaks. The pen detects hotspots on any page in a book and plays back narrations, questions, answers, quizzes, music or sound effects – whatever audio has been pre-programmed into the paper.