We’re raising our three Dutch boys bilingually, with the primary aim that they are comfortable speaking English with their British and American family. I am always on the look out for fun, interesting ways to encourage my sons to speak English, listen to English or read English books. The biggest challenge however, is getting my children to write in English. I was delighted when a great opportunity for him to practice his English penmanship fell into our laps.
Journaling is a Great Tool For Kids and Adults
I’m a fan of journaling for many reasons, and I believe it is a valuable tool for children as well as adults.
Journaling is great for emotional well-being. It’s great for capturing memories and experiences.
But journaling can also help bilingual children.
The Time Capsule Journal
The Time Capsule kid’s journal turned out to be not only great fun and insightful, but a great way to get my eldest voluntarily writing in English. Without me pushing or nagging my son chose to write in his second language.
The Time Capsule is filled with questions and prompts and I told my son he could write in Dutch, if he felt he could express himself better in his mother tongue.
“No, the questions are in English so I want to try and answer them in English,” he replied.
I was pleasantly surprised. A tool that gets my child writing in English! Without protesting about how difficult writing in another language is!
My son gave himself a pirate name and drew himself as a pirate.
He made journaling rules that he has to ignore (very tough for his perfectionist nature!) and designed his ideal dinnertime menu. Better still, he actually cooked his menu the following day.
Not only is this a fun journal it encourages your child to take over cooking duties for a day!
He gave some thought to his personality traits (Yep, This is Me page) and drew some fun illustrations to accompany his words.
Journals as a Tool for Writing in a Minority Language
It’s been fun to watch him busy in the journal – more so because he’s writing in English, which he finds tough, and is actually enjoying himself doing it.
So, if your child’s second or minority language is English then I can highly recommend this journal as a tool to get them writing in English. (If course, if your child’s first language is English then it’s a great journal too!)
But wait, there’s even more greatness about this journal. You can also Give a Story and donate one of these Time Capsules at a reduced price to a child through the The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Where to Buy the Time Capsule Journal
You can get your hands on your own copy by visiting Time Capsule on the Gadanke website or by heading to Amazon using the links below.
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Amazon DE – delivers to the Netherlands
- Book Depository – free worldwide delivery
Further Tools & Tips
For more ideas to get your children writing in their second language read 5 Ways to Encourage a Child to Write in their Second Language.
Over to You: What ways have you discovered to encourage your child to write in their minority language?