This week we celebrate Lingotastic’s third birthday!
I can hardly believe my dream of encouraging and supporting family language learning would come so far!
Here are the photos of our first ever class in the newspaper
Thanks to our weekly Lingotastic classes:
A number of children have started school already able to communicate simply in four languages.
Parents have grown in confidence in their own language skills and ability to pass on these skills to their own children.
Bilingual families have found others to share their journey together.
Families have found books, songs, toys and simple activities which they can use day by day in their family language learning journey.
Families have experienced the joy of singing together (whatever the language)
Children have had their eyes opened to other languages, cultures and traditions which leads to a greater acceptance and understanding of others. (So needed at this current time)
Children are able to sing in many languages with almost a native accent!
My own family have also been learning the songs and sharing the stories from the classes and are really progressing in their language learning.
Lingotastic provide weekly language classes, school lunchtime clubs and private classes in German, French and Spanish. We simply make, play, sing and have fun with languages together and it’s amazing to see the results.
Classes run in Bucks, and Herts.
To help with your language learning at home we’ve produced as CD of songs in German, English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Esperanto. Available on www.Lingotastic.co.uk/shop
To celebrate our birthday, we have three copies to giveaway. Do you want to win your own copy? Enter in the rafflecopter below. You can get up to 12 chances to win. Good luck!
I’d love to tell you about my favourite German picture book. I first came across it in our local library who had it on loan from bright books. It is a beautiful, colourful board book written for native German speakers over two years.
The story follows the adventures of a little white fish who has lost his mummy. The text invites you get involved in the story “Is this the mummy of the little white fish?” No spoilers but it has a happy ending!
It has lots of repetition so it is quickly understood. I’ve used this book in a library setting and none native German speakers quickly joined in with ja and nein.
Through the story you will learn the names of the sea creatures in German, colours and yes and no. You will hear how questions are asked in German. My daughters learned their colours in German with the help of this book and bath fizzers (but that is another story)
I’ve used it with children up to eight years who have no previous knowledge of German. As you can see I use lots of props so the children can match the animal to the one in the story. I made my own little white fish. It is a really fun interactive story when can be enjoyed again and again.
This book was originally written in Dutch and I’ve also found a translation in French if these are your target languages.
I hope this blog has inspired you to share stories with your little one, however young or old they are.
You can buy your own copy here.
If you’d like to hear me reading the story in German. Have a look here.
If you missed the last picture book review have a look here.
Do you have any picture books you would recommend and why?
At Lingotastic we love languages and always on the lookout for resources that will help with language learning. My daughter was over the moon to be asked to review a game.
We were sent two of the products from the Pic’n Mix range, Little Fashionista and Smart Watch.
They are in good solid packaging so much less likely to get damaged than in a cardboard box. The cute carry handle lends itself to a take out toy for the times a quiet toy is needed, like parent’s evening for the older children or quiet church service. The toy is made of durable plastic pieces which stick together with velcro. A multilingual instruction booklet is included, the translations are likely not done by a native speaker, but on the whole is understandable.
Play of game
Little fashionista is a simple doll dressing game which can either be played by matching the pieces on the game card or dressing the boy or girl as you wish.
Smart Watch is a clock face with numbers, countable pictures and scenes from daily routine to match to times.
As we played together with the Little Fashionista game we talked about what we saw and named the clothing in English, we talked about the weather that the clothes were suited for and moved on to naming the items of clothing in German and French. We talked about the colours of clothes in English, German and French.
As we played the Smart Watch game we started by assembling the clock face and identifying the numbers. I put the counting pieces on the clock face in random places and my daughter swapped them for the correct numbers , we then moved them to the correct places on the clock. We played in English and German. We talked about daily routine and put the pictures on the clock to best match her routine. We used the clock handles to tell the time in English and German.
The game has many opportunities for learning together through play, whatever the language. So learning OR playing, why choose?
I asked my daughter what she thought and she said “I think they are really good and I liked to play with them.”
My thoughts as a mum and teacher are “I like their simplicity and versatility. I may have to borrow the games for my one to one classes.”
Would you like to get them for your little one?
Here are the links
Let us know how you use them to learn together.
We were sent this games by Pic’n Mix to review. The opinions in this article are our own.
Why Phizz-Whizzing? Well today is Roald Dahl Day (100 years since he was born) and I think he would have used this word to describe the Education City games.
We unexpectedly started our home school journey at the end of May. As a teacher I had lots of ideas, unfortunately with continuing to work time is limited. I was told about Education City by the home school consultant at our local council, so got in touch with them. They set me up with a free trial and it has been an absolute godsend.
It is set up by the age of the child, covering the areas of the curriculum they cover in the school year. The child can explore Maths, English, Science, French, German and Spanish, all at their own level. The work is marked as they do it and they can print certificates of the work they have done.
Education city is game you can use to learn lots of things you would learn at school.
It is good because can use it yourself or working with an adult.
I think the certificates are good because I like the pictures on them.
I would make it better by making it more funky and cool like BBC bitesize.
I liked to play the games and learn. My favourite game is the one with puppets in different languages.
As a busy mum trying to keep up to my daughter’s education and work I have found Education City a massive help. I could set her working independently on a subject, she enjoyed doing it on the whole and could print a certificate to show what she had done for our records. It was great to know she could make a lot of her own choices about what she wanted to do and it was at a level geared to her age. I like that it covers many subject areas so I found it a great home school resource. They are offering a free trial at the moment it’s brilliant time to check it out. Let us know what you think.
Hello, I’m Jasmin and I have been asked to write a review of The hundred mile an hour dog -Master of disguise by Jeremy Strong. I have already read The Problems with a Python so I was pleased to be asked to review this book.
My most favorite character is the dog named Streaker because he is fast and funny.
A brief outline of the story is that the dog was naughty and the dad tried to send it to boot camp so the boy disguised the dog and the dog gets dog-napped by accident.
I would recommend this book to boys and girls aged 6-10 who like books about mystery.
I like the whole book but my favorite bit was when they dyed Streaker’s fur white to disguise him.
There is an exciting competition running on the Jeremy Strong website. Print out a picture of Streaker the dog and create your own amazing disguise.
If this review of The hundred mile an hour dog -Master of disguise has made you want to read other books by the same author check these out.
Summer is a great time to learn languages together as a family. I’ll be reviewing a few great resources over the next few weeks. The first is a brilliant new CD by Nathalia. When I was your age. Cuando era Pequeña. We were really lucky to win this CD on a giveaway on Instagram. If you’re not following us on Instagram then click here.
There are 10 brilliant songs on this album.
It’s My Birthday
When I Grow Up
La Iguana Pepa
¿Qué me dices tu?
As a family, Spanish is our least used language, so when I started to play the CD in the car I did not know how my kids would get on with it. I need not have worried though!To start with I was listening with my teenager (who will not tolerate rubbish music) and he enjoyed it- high praise indeed!
To start with my girls only wanted to listen to the English songs. After a few listens, the bilingual “When I Grow Up” is a firm favourite. My 8 year old even said mid song, the Spanish word for world is mundo !
Want to have a listen for yourself? Listen to a sample of the album and purchase it here.
The album has a real mix of styles across many genres of music, from swing in dinosaur dance to Latin fiesta feel in Señor Opuesto to Gypsy Kings style in Que Llueva.
My personal favourite is Otra vez, a rousing African style song encouraging listeners to get up and try again.
We really enjoy Pesadillas with it’s very catchy summer vibes, the girls were singing along, in Spanish, very quickly.
There is so much variety I can’t do it justice in a review, you need to listen to a samples here.
The songs flow seamlessly from Spanish to English and back again. It would be a great addition to your CD collection if you are a bilingual Spanish English family. It helps children realise it is normal to speak two languages.
This CD has many styles and does not get boring, no matter how many times you have heard it. Because of this CD my girls (and me) are singing along in Spanish so improving our Spanish pronunciation and vocabulary whilst having fun singing .
If you are a GCSE Spanish teacher this CD would be a great resource to use in the classroom. The when I grow up song has a lot of vocabulary on jobs and great repetition of future tense. “Cuando será grande”
The CD is available to download here. as well as physical copy from Nathalia’s website. Keep the learning going this summer with great resources like this and get your kids up, moving to the dinosaur dance (plus many more) and singing in different languages!
Can you improve your family language skills in the bath?
Family language learning is rarely structured, just making the most of the different opportunities which arise, but can you improve language skills in the bath?
My daughters, really got to grips with their German colours after Oma sent some bath fizzers which colour the bath water. We would ask them what colour bath they would like and they had to answer in German. If they got it correct there was an immediate reward of a fun coloured bath. It worked really quickly for them!
We were sent something similar to try by the lovely ladies at funkydz
Bubbles are a brilliant way to engage and motivate children and get them speaking in another language in German they are called die Seifenblasen, we do it for a minute and then stop. The bubbles start again if they say “Nochmal” (again). They very quickly learned that word.
We LOVE to sing (well mummy anyway!) In the bath, garden and the high street (and sometimes to my childrens’ embarrassment in the supermarket) Singing in the bath is such a fun, silly way to bring languages in to the bathroom.
As you may have guessed German is our second language at home. A good German song to sing in the bath is “funf kleine Fische”- Five little fishes.Don’t forget to snap, snap, snap snap!
This would be brilliant to use with fishes and sharks in the bath (bath toys may work better than real ones!)
We’ve a few ducks in our bath (plastic ones of course) which we use to sing “Alle meine Entchen” -All my little duckings
German may be our second language, but that does not stop us having language learning fun in other languages too.
We’ve a few French songs we enjoy which involve boats and splashing. They are brilliant to sing in the bath.
We get out our boats for “Bateau sur l’eau” – boat on the water.
“Tapent tapent petit mains” – clap clap little hands
After the line about the fish swimming we add “et plouf dans l’eau” and splash in the water.
So, what are you waiting for? Run that bath, pour in the bubbles and get playing with languages together!
We were sent free samples of bath products by Funkydz to try at home. It sparked memories of our language learning adventures so I thought I’d share our stories as well as a link to buy your own. http://www.funkydz.co.uk/
Do you know any good splashy songs in other languages ? Let me know in the comments below.
We started a homeschooling adventure at the end of May. It was a bit unexpected but it is a lot of fun.
We’ve done a lot of project based work, so when I heard Ivel Valley were looking for bloggers to review their bird feed, we jumped at the chance. It begs the question: Can you learn with bird food?
Here is our very silly Unboxing Film. (They do say not to work with children or animals)
There are so many learning experiences in everyday life, for languages, science, maths, literacy and lots more.
We’ve been feeding the birds for a while, but just cheap bird seeds. As you can see in the video, this is so much better than what we usually feed them. I’m sure the birds will love us now!
There are so many learning experiences in everyday life, for languages, science, maths, literacy and lots more.
Feeding birds fits into science work on food chains. It fosters a nurturing attitude to caring for nature. We can use maths whilst measuring out what we need. We can spot birds coming and chart it. (Maths too) We can chat about the birds in another language, German is our second language at home, I’ll be learning too as I don’t yet know many bird’s names in German!
So whilst following the nature topic this week we came across some brillant things. So, why is bird food a language learning supertool?
We came across a traditional German Children’s song. Alle Vögel sind schon da. I hope you enjoy this lively version.
In our garden, this week we’ve seen pigeons, robins, sparrows, bluetits, thrushes, blackbirds and red kites.
So the German names for these are
Blue tit (Maximilian Dorsch)
Red Kite (Gerry Whitlow)
We found some poetry on birds to use literacy skills. We’ve been looking at symmetry in nature. We read about food chains and my daughter wrote some food chains including birds both as predator and prey. As the work we did was rooted in the project for the week there is a direct link which helps to keep an interest in the work we are doing.
Would you like to buy some of this brilliant bird food for yourself. Pop over to the website Ivel Valley
Are there any more names for birds you think we’ve missed? Add you comments below.
Are you home schooling? How do you work with your little ones? Let us know in the comments below.
Reading is a brilliant way to improve language skills. As a parent I love to encourage my children to read. This is our Emily’s first ever book review. I’ve interviewed her to keep it simple.
What did you think of the book?
It was interesting. The part where Dotty has to guess the hidden code is very funny. (She was laughing out loud at this point!)
What do you think of the cover?
It was clever as she is called Dotty the detective and there are gold shiny dots. The cover matches her top in the picture.
What was your favourite bit and why?
The part where Dotty tries to guess the hidden code and gets it wrong and when McClusky joins in the singing on the stage.
Who is your favourite character and why?
I like McClusky (the dog), Dotty and Beans. McClusky is my very favourite as he saves the day and is very cute.
How would you persuade your friends to read this book?
I would say, “It’s good because there are some funny bits and some bits you’ll really enjoy”.
I think it is a book for boys and girls because McClusky is a boy and Dotty is a girl.
When I first showed Emily the book she was a bit intimidated by the length of it but, I suggested we could sit together and I would listen to her read a few chapters each evening. This worked really well and she really enjoyed the book.
Have we inspired you to read this book?
Get your copy here.
We were sent this book to review by the Big Shot. The opinions given are entirely our own.
What does your family like to read? Let us know in the comments below.