Kids and Foreign Languages: As Good Together As Peanut Butter and Jelly!July 15, 2013
I might seem like a pretty standard American girl to you, what with a name like Suzie and all, but I’m actually a first generation American with a very, very Russian family. My parents both grew up in the mother land and met in a Russian restaurant in New York in their 20’s. One day, my mom turned to me and said “I could have never imagined I would end up with two English speaking babies!”
To be more accurate, by the age of 3, I was speaking full sentences in Russian, Polish and English. The Russian came from my family, the Polish from our nanny, and the English from a clothing designer that rented out our garden apartment and always let me come downstairs and play. These three languages were completely interchangeable for me and I moved between them naturally. Over the years, English became my main language though I’ve retained most of my Russian language through repetition at home.
I know first-hand just how easy it is for a child to manage all those languages at such a young age. It makes me excited to one day give that gift to my own kids. One of our partners, Little Pim, has it figured out. They are busy transforming babies, toddlers and preschoolers into little language experts during those perfect moments when kids don’t even realize they are learning. Their award-winning program uses music, videos, board books, ﬂashcards, and an adorable panda named Little Pim. Basically, kids learn languages by having fun, interacting with Pim, and repeating 360 or so words and phrases. Their language program caters towards really young ages (age 6 and under), to catch kids at the optimal time for acquiring language. An added bonus is that the program is so sophisticated that everyone around the house will pick up new words too. Families can also request a free Little Pim training for their babysitters and nannies.
I feel fortunate to have grown up with a second language in my home. It made me curious about other cultures and stimulated my learning at an early age. Even now, I have a knack for picking up words and phrases whenever I travel abroad and not to brag, but even I get compliments on my pronunciation! Language played a big role in making me who I am today, and it’s something I’m going to pass on for sure. The only question that remains is which Little Pim videos am I going to use? The series is available in 11 languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, English, and Portuguese). Eeny, meeny, miny, moe? I think I just picked German!
For more information about the different language programs Little Pim offers, please visit www.littlepim.com. SmartSitting families and babysitters receive a special discounted rate.
-By Suzie Z.