In what ways do kids learn best? Through repetition, play, imitation, and total immersion. When learning a new language, this is no exception. Little Pim uses all of these ways in their fun and effective series of language learning DVDs and products for babies and young children (ages 0-5).
The best and fastest way to learn a foreign language is for you to become completely immersed in the language. Think of it as being thrown into a room of people that speak only that language. Eventually, your brain will cope and learn the language, even if you didn’t get any instruction in your native tongue. Babies learn their first language that way – by frequent daily exposure. Most of us aren’t fortunate enough to be able to be immersed in a foreign language, so Little Pim is the next best thing. It models how we naturally learn and acquire languages.
You will find no English in their video series, only the foreign language spoken by native speakers. This format makes it so that kids (and their parents) are challenged and forced enough to find other cues to figure out the meaning of the words. The 25-award winning series comes in 11 different languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian) with a whopping 60 new words in each DVD. It is the most comprehensive foreign language introduction series available for young children.
The videos, to me, are done in a similar fashion to the entertaining Baby Einstein videos our babies and toddlers so dearly adore. They quickly move through scenes to keep the child engaged and provide the words verbally as well as written, all while using real children in their visual cues in everyday activites. I thought the videos would entertain my 2 year old, but not my 5 year old, as they were a little too simplistic. I was wrong.
The first minute that my kids watched it, my five year old wanted a satchel just like Little Pim’s (Little Pim is the video’s lovable cartoon panda mascot). My 2 kids watched the show off and on while playing in the background, and even though they weren’t always watching the screen, I found that both, but especially my 2 year old, would rattle off random words she had heard and tell me what they meant within the first few minutes. “Mangia, mom. It means eat!” And I thought they weren’t listening! Pretty impressive! Even though I know do some Italian, it would have been simple enough for me to understand and follow along without any prior knowledge. However, if you prefer, there are optional English subtitles. So it’s perfect for both – parents who speak the language and parents who don’t!
With continued watching, kids do retain the new found vocabulary quite well, and the flashcards, music CDs and books only serve to reinforce it further.
This holiday season, give the gift of a foreign language and a lifetime of opportunity.
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