Tag Archives: children

Spanish resources

It’s great to find helpful resources. Here are our favorite Spanish books from class for you to read together at home.

La Oruga muy Hambrienta.

El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre.

Los Tres Certitos

Diez deditos de las manos y diez deditos de los pies.

German resources

It’s great to find great resources for language learning.
These are a few books we love to use in class. Simple text and interactive stories for you to read together at home.

A family is not complete without a Bollerwagen.

Boats, language learning and clear communication

We’re very fortunate to have a guest post from Cassandra Lewis, a fellow language enthusiast, about her language learning journey and how she uses languages in her family and everyday life. Over to you, Cassandra…

Like most people in the UK I started French at school and immediately loved it. I really enjoyed the novelty factor of being able to say things in another language and this never wore off!

  source visitscotland.com

source visitscotland.com


Those were the days of day trips on the ferry over the Chanel with my mum and dad to visit the French hyper markets, the likes of which we had not yet seen in the UK. It was so amazing to me that all the things we were being taught at school were actually things real French people said! To be able to recognise some words when we went on these trips and to try to communicate a little with people gave me such a buzz! This was just the start of my language learning journey.
I then started Spanish at school and found I loved that too! It was fabulous. I ended up doing 3 of my GCSEs in modern languages (French, Spanish and Italian) and two of my A Levels were also modern languages, French and Spanish.
I never really had any idea of what I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’ but I knew I loved languages and so it was a natural progression really that my degree ended up to be French and Spanish – I even tried a spot of Russian while I was at University!
source aspirantsg.com

source aspirantsg.com


Studying languages gave me the opportunity to live and work in Peru, Colombia and France and it’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life whilst living abroad in these places.
My work life after University took many turns from Primary School teaching to Banking to now running a Salesforce Consultancy with my husband. Although I don’t really use my languages on a day to day basis, it’s something that’s always with me. It’s like swimming, riding a bike or learning to drive, even if you don’t do it every day, you still know how to do these things. My languages are without doubt a little rusty now but I know it’s all still in there somewhere!
I’m finding now I’m a mum to a toddler I’m able to embrace my love of languages all over again by introducing her to this world. I’ve discovered Lingotastic classes where I live and both she and I really enjoy going along every week. She’s gaining something I never had which is being able to tune her ear and brain into different languages nice and early on in life – the very best time!
My daughter constantly amazes me with how much she’s picking up. She’s saying parts of the body, singing songs and counting in French, Spanish and German and the best part is she’s picking it all up without even trying and she’s having loads of fun doing it!
I’m even thinking about learning Mandarin with her which will be a real challenge for me coming from my romance languages roots! I love the fact that my language leaning journey is still continuing. It’s a great feeling opening yourself up to be able to communicate with others on this planet; a truly enriching experience.
I do smile to myself sometimes in my work life as even though we’re all speaking English, talking the language of Salesforce and translating that into the language of those who will ultimately be using the system is something that my husband and I need to always be aware of. It reminds me that clear communication in any language is a skill and so very important so everyone knows and understands we’re all on the same page. It feels good to be understood, no matter what the language.
If you’re interested in how Salesforce could help your organisation, contact us through www.rephrase.co.uk and we’ll be happy to have a chat! 

Interview with Sam and Catherine from B Small Publishing

As a family we’ve found it difficult to find good language learning resources, so over on our
resources page. we’ve compiled lots that we’d recommend. These resources were created as individuals realised there was a need and that they were able and willing to meet that need. There are inspiring stories behind all of the resources and this time we hear the story Sam and Catherine from bsmall publishing

__SAM-AND-CATH-DOODLE2[1]

Could you tell me little about yourself and your family?
My name is Catherine Bruzzone and I started the business in the early 1990s publishing high-quality activity books for the Early Learning Centre. After these first few titles, I started to create bilingual books focussing on first words in English-French and English-Spanish. At the time, I was married to an Italian and my young children were learning both English and Italian. Prior to being a publisher, I was an MFL teacher in secondary schools teaching French and Italian – so languages were in my blood! Sam has taken on the daily management of the business over the last few years and he also studied French and Italian so is keen to carry on this important side of our business.

How does your product help family language learning?
Our activity books are created for non-experts to introduce and practise foreign languages at home. We are a commercial enterprise and so focus on creating French and Spanish material because this is what we sell best – especially in North America. We have dabbled in Italian, German and Chinese and still have a few of these titles on our list. Kids and parents of all ages benefit hugely from having a go at foreign languages and it’s really important to encourage kids when they are not feeling self-conscious about their ability – so our books target kids aged 6 to 9 years (though we have a few first words and older stories), which we feel is a great age to encourage practical activities in foreign languages. They don’t replace a real teacher or local languages group but are a good support.
The_Rights_of_the_Language_Learner_-_b_small_publishing[1]Is there anything else you’d like to tell those reading our blog?
We have created a fantastic poster encouraging kids to ‘have a go’ at learning languages. It’s called Rights of the Language Learner and is available either in a posh A3 laminated version from Little Linguist or we can give you a free PDF that you can print yourself on bsmall publishing Please email us on books@bsmall.co.uk if you’d like to receive it!

Children are NOT confused by early second language learning

French market Today I went along to the French market in Chorleywood. The weather was good so a lot of other people went along too. We held hourly French taster classes and had a lot of people coming to join in. I was able to chat to a few families about their language learning journeys. A few were encouraged to start language learning at a young age which was a great result in my mind, whether their language learning includes Lingotastic or not.

We had a lot of fun making fish, singing and finding out what noise a Chamelion makes. A lot of parents were amazed at how quickly their little ones picked up some French.

Il fait comment le caméléon?

Il fait comment le caméléon?

I came across a few parents who were concerned that exposing their little ones to second language at a young age would confuse them. Here is my answer to this…
The best time to learn a second language is the same time as you learn the first. Bilingual families start two languages from birth. Even pre-verbal babies are able to recognise different languages, a recent Canadian study found.
In our family experience, when my son was still in my tummy, my hubby spoke to him only in German,
this meant when he was born, he only recognised his dad’s voice when he spoke in German.

A baby’s babbles sound the same, independent of the language spoken around them. From six months, the babble starts to become like the language sounds they hear regularly. So if babies are exposed to more than one language, the baby soon picks up both languages.

As far as language learning goes, the motto is, the younger the better. Birth to three years is the optimum time for introducing a second language. It is much easier for younger children to acquire languages. Bilingual families usually start at birth or before. In fact, if a child is learning two languages at a time, they will learn both at the same rate, without one language inhibiting the other.
Younger is also better with regards to children acquiring a native sounding accent; they are much more able to pick up an authentic accent if they hear a second language from a young age.

I’ve seen even the NHS, and so health visitors are promoting the value of early second language learning so I’m flabbergasted that these myths live on! The research about the best time to start second language learning is clear. Don’t let this myth make your child miss out!
What do you think?

We’re learning Portuguese with Eurotalk Junior Language Challenge

As a bilingual German and English family we think language learning is very important. My husband has studied, English, French, Latin, Spanish and Polish. I’ve studied French, German and Spanish. We’ve passed on some of these languages to our children by simply playing with languages. As you might have guessed we LOVE languages. You may have read about our Mandarin learning journey at the start of this year.

Well, now we’re learning Portuguese! My girls are taking part in the Euro talk Junior Language Challenge. The Junior Language Challenge involves children up to age 10 playing simple games in order to learn Portuguese. They do this with minimal adult involvement (which I like!). I’m often cooking in the room next door as they play, so I’ve picked up bit of Portuguese. I found it very interesting to hear Portuguese and how different it is to Spanish, but I’ve understood quite a lot because of the other Latin based languages I know.

JLC  blog1

I did not start to learn a second language until I was twelve so I’m sure they’ll surpass me in their language abilities as they get older! They other languages they are picking up mostly from home, so it’s great they can do this learning independent of us.

My girls are much better at Portuguese than me and I’ve been amazed on the occasions I’ve watched them playing the junior language challenge. They really like the silly game where you learn body parts to make your own Frankenstein monster and the telling the time game, as the man’s arm grows! They’re having a lot of fun playing and moving up the scoreboard.

frankenstein

They’ve been learning more than just Portuguese.
I heard my six-year-old reading very quickly in English last week. I did not know she could do this.
They’ve been learning National flags alongside the Portuguese names for those countries.
I asked my girls what they would like to say about the junior language challenge. My seven year old said “It’s a lot of fun” and the youngest said “I’m going to win! ”
If we get through to the next round we’ll be learning another language and in the third round yet another language. I’ll let you know how we get on.

JLC logo

It’s not too late to join the Junior Language Challenge.

Why sign up to the JLC?

  • It makes languages fun
  • It introduces children to new languages
  • It raises money for charity
  • There are some great prizes

It’s not too late to join the Junior Language Challenge, simply contact Eurotalk

Learn languages and make friends with a GIVEAWAY from Chatterbags

Multilingual

picture credit: earlylearninghq.co.uk

I’m starting to realise I may be a bit of a language nerd. I’ve been thinking recently as to why people learn a language. I think for me the greatest reason is that it gives me the chance to make friends. I’m a really relational person and language learning is great for this. As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language it goes to his heart”

The inspired guys at Chatterbags thought up the idea of Chatterbags so that people can tell at a glance what languages you speak. At Lingotastic we were really impressed with this idea. Chatterbags have been kind enough to offer Lingotastic visitors a chance to get a chatterbag for free. To take part in this giveaway from Chatterbags you need to enter with the rafflecopter form at the end.

As I walk my children in to school I often say good morning in about four languages to the other parents and children. Dzień dobry, Bună dimineața, Jó reggelt, As- Salàmu ’Alaykum, доброе утро, Dobrý deň, Guten Morgan, Zăo sháng hăo!

At my children’s school, there are parents and children whose main language is, Polish, Hungarian, Mandarin, Russian, German, Romanian, Slovak, Urdu, Arabic, Ukrainian and French.

In September, my daughter returned to school, after the summer holidays. She had three children in her class who’d just arrived in the country and spoke no English. The children taught each other to say “good morning” in their own languages. I was really impressed by this mutual language teaching at age 7 and also the way the new children were welcomed into the class. I decided I could do this too, and learn to say at least good morning or simple greeting in these languages.

Chatterbags

Chatterbag

I started to chat the new families and learn how to say good morning. I thought language learning would be a great way to get to know other families in the school. It’s been a fun journey. I’ve spoken the wrong language to people a few times and sometime pronounced so badly they did not know what I was saying! The Urdu and Arabic speaking mummies automatically respond to me with “Wa ’Alaykum us Salam” then realise it’s me speaking and look a bit confused or giggle! In time they’ve got used to it though!

On the whole people have been really pleased to teach me a few words of their language and laughed with me as I stumble over the new words. It empowers them and builds their confidence as they are the expert in this area. Some of the mums are new to the country, learning English, and like the fact I take the time to talk with them and understand what they are saying. I, myself have struggled with communication in other languages so I’m patient!

I’m enjoying building my own language skills and making friends too. Do you have anyone you can get to know better by learning their language? I’d love to know how it goes! Let us know in the comments box below.

bagsThere are ten Chatterbags on offer as part of our giveaway from Chatterbags, kindly supplied by the guys at Chatterbags. To win your very own Chatterbag to get you talking, enter with the Rafflecopter link below! We’d like to see you out and about with it so please tweet us a picture of yourself with your bag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five Surprising Places for Language Learning with your Little One

5 surprising places for language learning with your little one
This entry was first posted on July 11, 2014 on the Flash Sticks Blog

la lune

We’re fortunate enough to have a great guest post on the FlashSticks blog today, from Sarah Barrett, of Lingotastic. You might remember Sarah from her post a couple of weeks ago, where she told us all about her language teaching journey.
Sarah’s parent and toddler group, Lingotastic, uses puppets, music and stories to help young children and their families to take their first steps into a second language, in a friendly and welcoming environment.
Today, Sarah tells us about a couple of here favourite stealth language learning ideas for families. Perfect timing just before the weekend.
Enjoy…

playground
1. In the playground
On the swings: Count in the target language whilst pushing your little one. And once they’ve mastered numbers, you can always progress to trying out days of the week, as well as months of the year.
Round the roundabout: Ask your little one if they want to go faster or slower in the target language. My children learned the word nochmal – again – on a roundabout.

Family car trips
2. In the car

Counting: Sometimes simplicity is the most effective way for your children to learn a new language. Count to ten around in a circle in whichever language you choose. My children love this one and it’s a great way to ensure they’ve got their numbers down.
Dictionary games: This one’s great and has never-ending possibilities. Simply select a letter and give a description, then ask your child to guess the word. So, for example, you might say, “the word starts with an “F” and is a cake with fruit in it.”
Listening to music: CDs with songs in the target language are a brilliant tool. Music is a very powerful tool for language learning. What’s great from my experience is that children find themselves singing a song fluently in another language, then they become curious about what the words mean, which is where the real learning comes in.

at home
3. At home

Instructions: Give simple instructions in the chosen language, making it as much as a casual part of your routine as possible. You might say, “Schuhe an! (Put your shoes on!).” At first, you may need to do a little translation, but you’ll find that your child very quickly begins to understand the words in the target language.
Counting: There’s no end to the counting game. And counting when going up and down stairs is a great bit of fun.
Arts and crafts: Craft is good for language learning too. When you are making things together, be sure to point out the vocabulary for colours and whatever other materials you are using or things you’re making together.
Pairs: Matching games are great too. We have a few with pictures and words in the target language.
Reading: It goes without saying that bilingual books are brilliant. Your local Library can rent them from Bright Books, if they don’t have some already.
Online: YouTube has lots of brilliant videos of nursery rhymes and even Peppa Pig in a variety of target languages.
Toys: My children had some brilliant bilingual toys, which sing nursery rhymes and teach simple vocabulary.
FlashSticks: Oh and obviously, as the guys guys at FlashSticks were so kind as to let me throw some words together for their blog, I should mention that FlashSticks are brilliant for reading age children. Stick them around the home and label things. Oh and don’t forget to take pictures while you’re out and about, so you can tweet them at FlashSticks on #FlashSticksFriday.

garden
4. In the Garden

Gardening is a great stealth learning activity. And one we can’t get enough of at home. Simply point and name plants and objects, as you play together.

farm
5. Out and about

Visiting the farm or zoo, naming animals in the target language is a great way to pick up some really useful vocabulary. Supermarkets and shops are also good for naming objects too. In fact, it works anywhere!
The aim of this blog was just to kick off a discussion on stealth language learning tactics that your little ones will love. I’ve put forward some of my favourites, but I LOVE hearing new ideas, so if you’ve got some great ideas that I’ve missed, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
As a language learning and teaching enthusiast, I’d love to connect with any like minded teachers and learners. It would be great to meet those with little ones or who work with little ones, so if you’d like to get in touch, let me know in the comments below or you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or via email.

Mandarin Chinese New Year Fun.

Lion dance

On Saturday, the sound of drums thundered thoughout Chesham town
centre as people gathered to watch a traditional Chinese New Year
lion dance. However, not far up the road, in Chesham Library, you
could hear children singing in Mandarin Chinese as they took part in
a popular Lingotastic event run to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

craft chinese new year

Enthusiastic children made their own Chinese Dragons and “blasted off”
to China with their rockets; they also learned how to say hello in
Mandarin (你好 nǐ hǎo)) and even had a close encounter with a dragon!

dancing dragon

Attendees heard the story of the Chinese Zodiac and used puppets to
act it out themselves, as well as learning how to sing Happy Birthday
in Mandarin生日快乐 (shēng rì kuài lè). Two tigers joined in the fun, listening to a Mandarin song about themselves 两只老虎 (liǎng zhī láo hǔ) and the children then played a game to another
song called Find A Friend 找朋友 (zhǎo péng yǒu). The fun event rounded up with a hearty
chorus of Good New Year 新年好 (xīn nián hǎo ).

boys chinese new year

The families who came along ranged from those with a smattering of
mandarin to those who heard if for the first time that day. “The
children were all really enthusiastic and really quick to pick up the
songs and phrases in Mandarin; it was amazing to see,” said Sarah
Barrett, the founder of Lingotastic, who organised and ran the event
at the library. “Children are so keen to learn other languages and it
is magical to see their progress.” Lingotastic runs language classes
for children from birth to age 6 in Chesham, Chorleywood and Gerrards
Cross. For all classes and further details, visit their website at
www.lingotastic.co.uk.

Souper Language Learning

SUPPE

Soup is one way we encourage language learning in our home!
My children really like German packet soups. You can eat fire engines (Feuerwehrsuppe), ghosts (Gespenster Suppe), fairy tales (Märchen Suppe), sport (Fuẞball Suppe),and letters (Buchstaben Suppe).
When make these soups we must first read the instructions in German and translate them into English.
A cunning bit of language learning and reading to let them have what they like! They also like to find Gespenster (Ghosts) Hexen (witches) Zauberer (wizards), Princessin (princesses) und Einhörner (unicorns) in the soup.

Jelly

We like to make German Göterspeise (jelly) too. We were making some Waldmeiser Götterspeise today and my daughter was reading the instructions while I translated them. She read Kartofel (potato) instead of Köchloffel (wooden spoon used for cooking) the instructions then read “stir with a potato until fully dissolved” We giggled a bit over that!

We think language learning can be lots of fun (and even quite yummy!)

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