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My Son and I Create a Storytelling Podcast That Advances His Bilingual Ability in a Really Fun Way – Bilingual Monkeys

ADAM’S NOTE: Alongside together with your persistent day by day efforts to nurture the minority language—in specific, talking to your baby as much as you possibly can and studying aloud—I also encourage you to pursue short-term tasks, which may provide a highly effective increase for language exposure and engagement. Make videotaped interviews or “dramatic” movies; create a image ebook or comic ebook; write and perform a brief play; sing and report a favourite music (or make up your personal); invent a new recreation and play it collectively; compile a photograph album and add captions; do craft-making or building actions; analysis and report on some subject of curiosity; and many extra. (See the links at the end of this publish for a variety of encouraging examples.)

In immediately’s visitor submit, Deepti Gupta presents a fantastic example of her personal: a podcast that she has created together with her younger son. When Deepti wrote to me about her new undertaking, I was wanting to share it with all of you as a result of artistic efforts like this, which are so partaking and effective, can supply super inspiration for families of any goal language. (And even should you don’t understand Hindi, I urge you to take heed to a podcast episode, like this one. It overflows with not only language however a lot laughter and joy as nicely.) So many because of you, Deepti and Josh! And all the perfect together with your pretty podcast! :mrgreen:

Deepti Gupta is an actress and Audie nominated audiobook narrator and voiceover artist. Initially from India, she lives in america together with her American husband and 6-year-old son, who is bilingual in English and Hindi. Study more about Deepti’s skilled work at

Last yr, my 6-year-old son, Josh, started listening to an English language story podcast referred to as What If World. The tales on this podcast are fun, artistic, and super imaginative. Josh enjoyed them so much, he might take heed to episode after episode.

Because I’m dedicated to raising a bilingual, Hindi-speaking baby, I determined that I wanted to seek out something comparable for him to take heed to in Hindi. So I appeared for Hindi story podcasts on-line and on apps like Saavn, an Indian music streaming service. What I found was a few podcasts in Hindi however with the identical previous Hindi tales and the language used didn’t sound like how we converse Hindi. Bookish Hindi doesn’t help a younger baby who’s learning to precise himself in this language.

So I began questioning if I ought to begin a podcast myself. But what wouldn’t it be about? I might have just narrated stories from the Panchtantra and the Upanishads and created a podcast of those conventional tales. But I needed one thing that might seize the imagination and interests of youngsters in at the moment’s world. How do you create new content material that youngsters of this era can relate to? The place each snakes and robots could be in the same story? I was at a loss.

Our first podcast episode

Last December we went to an event referred to as Makers Faire on the Los Angeles Central Public Library. This is a truthful the place all types of innovators and artistic people collect to showcase their inventions and creations. We received to see Eric O’Keeffe of “What If World” in action. He created a podcast episode on the spot with the participation of youngsters in the viewers. Josh had the prospect to offer a suggestion for the story, too.

I assume both he and I have been inspired by what we saw and experienced. The joy of making and letting our imagination take flight. I have a residence studio the place I document my audiobooks and typically Josh would sit in my booth and narrate his personal made-up stories or just gibberish stuff. He loves these “recording sessions,” and they’re enjoyable for each of us. So I questioned if he and I might create one thing collectively. And it was now clear to me that a storytelling podcast was the suitable course.

Not long after that, on a superb Saturday morning in January, we determined to take motion. He was in good spirits and I was excited on the prospect. In half an hour, we recorded our first podcast! It was exhilarating! Josh then made the brand for our podcast, a picture of the 2 of us recording in the booth. That similar day I edited the audio, selected a platform, and launched our new podcast, referred to as Josh Ke Saath. (“Josh Ke Saath” means “Along with Josh” and additionally means “With Enthusiasm.”) I shared it with other families and the response has been superb.

Josh Ke Saath

Starting our bilingual journey

Our Hindi learning journey, which led us to beginning this podcast, started with Josh’s delivery. When I turned a mother, I determined that I needed my son to additionally converse Hindi. (Truly, Hindustani, a mixture of Hindi and Urdu.) My husband speaks only English, so it was up to me to make this occur. But back then, I didn’t understand how onerous it was going to be to teach him my native language.

From the beginning I spoke to Josh in Hindi and my husband spoke to him in English. I understood what my husband was saying, but my husband, in fact, couldn’t perceive my Hindi so he felt disregarded. He needed me to translate every thing for him. I was a new mother and having to translate all of the things I was saying in Hindi obtained exhausting. My zeal to nurture Hindi prompted my husband and I to renegotiate how our household would operate. There had to be occasions when he wouldn’t know what I’m saying to my son and he would have to belief that when it was really essential, I would change to English to incorporate him.

It wasn’t straightforward, however I give my husband credit score for supporting my efforts when my circle of relatives again in India didn’t. My mother and father and kinfolk in India thought Josh had no have to study Hindi since he lives in an English-speaking nation. They didn’t see a practical purpose for investing all this power into it. My husband’s household, who don’t converse Hindi, initially felt awkward when I’d converse to Josh in Hindi in front of them. I knew that they didn’t perceive what was being stated and maybe they felt overlooked. But to me, a youngster that’s a part of two cultures must have all of the tools necessary to discover both cultures. And I felt it was my obligation to provide him the software of Hindi.

My worries and efforts

The reality is, I’ve spent some stressed nights worrying about tips on how to help his Hindi studying. I bought crazy amounts of Hindi books from India and was all the time on the lookout for brand spanking new Hindi apps for our pill. Yes, I did give my son extra display time than I ideally needed to, nevertheless it was essential to surround him with Hindi influences just as he was surrounded by English influences. The sensation of being alone on this journey turned overwhelming when he began going to an English language preschool, and I apprehensive continuously about him dropping Hindi.

I keep in mind when he was two and a half and he started recognizing English letters on the street signs. I obtained anxious. I realize it’s funny that I’d get anxious at my son’s accomplishment, however I did. I needed him to be able to acknowledge Hindi letters simply as easily as English letters. So I looked for Hindi alphabet toys and building blocks. Amazon didn’t have them at the time (they do now) so I purchased some square picket blocks and acquired some alphabet studying booklets from India. Then my son and I minimize and glued the Hindi letters onto the blocks to create our personal Hindi letter blocks. (See These Are the Building Blocks of a Profitable Bilingual Journey (and a Nearer Bond) with Your Youngsters.)

We also attempt to immerse him in the language and tradition by taking him to India every year. This is a dedication we’ve made as a household. Now he’s attending a Spanish immersion faculty and in a few years shall be trilingual. My husband and I don’t converse Spanish, however we understand that the way forward for our world is international.

Feeling courage and hope

This has been a robust journey, however what keeps me going are the moments when Josh surprises me together with his Hindi potential. One summer time, when he was three years previous, we have been in India at my mother and father’ house. I took him to the playground to play with different youngsters there. Josh and two other youngsters have been on a merry-go-round and one kid made a joke in Hindi and Josh laughed. He not solely understood the language, but in addition the Indian humorousness. In that moment I felt assured that his Hindi was rising and I was on the proper path.

Or the subsequent summer time when my mother, Josh, and I have been going somewhere in the automotive. My mom and I have been speaking about one thing, in Hindi, while Josh was searching the window on the vans going by. Throughout a pause in our conversation, he turned and asked a query about one thing my mother had stated a jiffy before. My mother and I looked at each other in surprise. He had understood every thing we have been saying.

These are the kind of moments that have given me courage and hope.

Making our podcast episodes

My son is now 6 years previous and has been going to a Hindi class every weekend for the past yr and a half. At this point he can understand Hindi very nicely and he can converse nicely, too, though I’m making an attempt to help him increase his capacity to precise himself.

And, in fact, considered one of these methods is thru our podcast.

Once we create a podcast episode, we start with a “story starter.” We determine on the Who, Where, and What, then build the story sentence by sentence. Who’s in the story? The place are they? And what are they doing? That’s all. We use a primary improvisation method referred to as “Yes, and” to construct our tales. What this implies is that, no matter what your companion says, it’s essential to accept it and construct on it. So, regardless of how crazy the sentence is that Josh makes, I need to say “Yes, and then” and add the subsequent sentence to further the story. I can’t, as an example, tell him that a goat doesn’t eat metallic. That occurred in episode 2 and I merely accepted it as a reality of the story and we went on having enjoyable with it. So, whereas I’m educating him to assume and categorical himself in Hindi, we’re additionally training a tremendous collaboration method that makes studying artistic and playful.

Josh doesn’t all the time know all of the words in Hindi. Should you take heed to our podcast, you’ll hear me prompting him or asking him to assume deeper about one thing he stated. Or describe something in extra element in Hindi. So he learns vocabulary as we go alongside.

The aim isn’t for this to be a polished Hindi podcast. We need to let mother and father and youngsters feel that it’s a learning process for us, too, and errors are okay. There are times I overlook a Hindi phrase for one thing, too. Actually, in episode 2 (sure, the one with the metal-eating goat), I couldn’t recall methods to say “jealous” in Hindi. We laughed about it and, in fact, it came again to me after we completed recording. I edit little or no out. On days once we’re both a little tired, it’s robust to keep the power up. I have to ensure he feels excited to document each week. He loves once we get a “story starter” from a listener. He stated it makes him really feel that we now have a group that helps us. These have been his words.

Fun, artistic, and partaking

This podcast has given me a fun option to join with my son and thus far we’ve gotten great feedback from youngsters and mother and father alike. Our objective is to be constant about producing an episode every week. We’ll study from our listeners as we go alongside. We’ll convey in friends who can collaborate on stories with us. I’m also considering of Skyping friends in for episodes. I’d like to include different youngsters, too, who might be artistic with us.

With this podcast I need to fill a gap that exists for teenagers learning Hindi as we speak. I want I had something like this when Josh and I started our bilingual journey. My hope is that more youngsters of South Asian descent will pay attention and feel impressed to study and converse Hindi (Hindustani). And for folks this can be a fun recreation to play at house. It builds connection, improves listening expertise, and develops artistic considering.

For those who’re a dad or mum who feels some resistance from your youngster on the subject of speaking your native language, consider a simple “story starter” with a Who, a Where, and a What. And simply ask your youngster: “What do you think happens next?” And it doesn’t matter what your youngster says, keep in mind “Yes, and” and continue constructing the story. You’ll be stunned at how shortly your baby will develop into engaged in creating the story with you.

And right here’s how you can assist Josh and me. Ask your youngsters to provide you with a “story starter,” document them saying it, and e mail it to us at [email protected] We’ll not solely create a story out of your suggestion, we’ll additionally play the audio of your baby on our podcast. I hope you’ll be a part of us at “Josh Ke Saath”!

Josh Ke Saath is obtainable at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and any net browser by visiting

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