Category Archives: How babies learn language

Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teaching your child a new language doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’m going to show you how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Although children can easily learn multiple languages, oftentimes we aren’t sure how to teach them. However, helping your child learn a new language is easier than you think.  Let’s take a look.

1. Listening to Music

Baby Listening to Music

Exposing your child to music is one of the simplest ways you can introduce them to a new language.  As we know, children learn by seeing, listening, and interacting.  When you play music in another language, your child will become familiar with the rhythm of the language. Listening to music will introduce them to new vocabulary, pitch, inflection, and the nuances of the language they are learning.

When I was trying to teach my children Spanish, I played a lot of Spanish music for them.  The simple songs were very catchy and encouraged my children to sing along.  Even if they didn’t understand the songs at first, they were developing essential skills for future communication. Hearing and repeating Spanish songs will help your child become a natural in the language.  If you want to help your child learn a new language, play music for them as often as you can.  It’s all about creating an environment for learning.  Playing music is one simple way you can set the stage for your child’s journey in language learning.

2. Watching Videos/Programs

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"

If you want to know how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, pay close attention to this one.  Having my children watch videos or TV programs in another language is one of my favorite ways to teach them a new language.  I highly recommend finding some good DVDs or shows they can watch.  I love using videos because it incorporates two forms of learning – seeing and listening.  While music is great, videos can give your child a visual representation of the words they are hearing.  It’s great for parents too.  While you might not understand songs, a video makes it clear and allows you to learn right along with your child.  I’ve just released my first baby Spanish video, “Todo Sobre Mi.”  This is perfect for introducing your child to familiar first words and body parts in Spanish.

3. Reading Books

Reading Book to Baby

We know that reading to children is extremely beneficial, and reading them books in a foreign language is just another way to increase the benefits from books.  When children read books in a foreign language, they become acquainted with the structure of the language.  Seeing individual words is quite different from reading full sentences.  Look for simple picture books that you and your child will enjoy reading together.  You may want to practice reading the book first so your pronunciation is correct.

Look for translations of popular kids’ books, nursery rhymes, and bilingual books.  I appreciate the bilingual books since I can read it in another language yet still understand the story.

* If you find it difficult to read to your child in a foreign language, see if your library offers a story time in Spanish, French, or whatever the language may be.  You could also download Ebooks in another language.  Some Ebooks have an audio option and will read to you.

4. Viewing Flashcards

Baby with Flashcards

Flashcards have always been a favorite of mine.  They are quick, fun, interactive, and effective. Out of the five steps listed in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, this is one of the easiest.  Whether you purchase flashcards or create your own, start showing your baby flashcards about 3 times each day.

You might choose 10-15 words to quickly flip through when they wake up, after a diaper change, during bath time, or whenever is convenient for you. It should only take you about 30 seconds per session to review the flashcards.

Another way you can utilize your flashcards is by taping them up around the house.  I used to have flashcards all over the place when I was trying to teach my children Spanish.  I would have them on the fridge, chairs, light switches, dressers, and wherever else I could place them.  When I’d walk around the house I’d show my baby the word and say it to them a couple times.

Flashcards are great because they are so versatile.  Not only can you use them as review cards, but they’re also great for playing cards.  My kids loved playing Spanish matching games with our flashcards.  No matter how you use them, find what works best for you and start incorporating flashcards into your daily routine.

5. Conversing with Others

Mom and Baby

We’ve reached our final and maybe most important step in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Conversation.  If your child does not view flashcards, or listen to music, or read books, or watch TV, they can still learn a new language simply by conversing with others.  If your child is constantly spoken to and engaged with those who speak another language, he will learn to speak it as well.  I have witnessed this occurrence time and time again. Conversation is key to a language transformation.

I must admit that none of my children speak Spanish.  Although I showed them flashcards, and read them books, and did all I could, I don’t speak Spanish.  My efforts have not been a waste. They know some Spanish and it has blessed them in other areas, but they are not fluent Spanish-speakers.  Why?  They were rarely spoken to in Spanish.

This is why I encourage you to find someone to talk to your child in a foreign language.  If your child is consistently hearing the language spoken and being “forced” in a sense to respond, they will grasp it.  Perhaps you can take them to a class, or hire a babysitter to watch them for part of the day, or visit friends and family that speak the language.  Do whatever you can to allow them to communicate and interact with those who speak the language you want them to learn.

Remember that consistency is key in all that you do.  Your baby can learn quickly and effortlessly, so optimize on this amazing period of time and give your child the gift of language. You can easily teach them a new language, all it requires is a bit of dedication.  I hope you found these 5 steps helpful, and I would love to hear about your ideas for teaching children language. Would you take a moment to comment below and let me know what language you want your child to learn?  Are you already teaching your child a foreign language? What methods do you like to use? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so don’t forget to share your ideas in the Comments below!

Todo Sobre Mi

Teach Baby Spanish DVD

Your child can easily learn Spanish with the right tools and method.  If you’re looking for a “teach baby Spanish DVD”, then we have just what you need.  The new MonkiSee video “Todo Sobre Mi” is the perfect place to start your journey in teaching your baby Spanish.  Before I tell you more about this Spanish DVD for babies, let’s briefly discuss the importance of learning Spanish.

Do you want to teach your child Spanish?

Nowadays, it is such an asset to be bilingual.  If you can speak multiple languages, you have quite an advantage.  The ability to speak more than one language will advance you in school, in your career, in your intellectual understanding, and in many other ways.  You never know when the need may arise for you to speak Spanish.

With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world’s No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language.” – Gerald Erichsen

Teaching your child Spanish, is a blessing they will enjoy throughout all their life.  Whether you want them to communicate with Spanish-speaking family and friends, be prepared for traveling to another country, or are simply developing your child’s skills for future careers, teaching your baby Spanish is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

So, if you want to teach your child Spanish, now is the time to begin.  The younger you start the better.  That is why we have designed an effective Spanish video for teaching children from the age of three months to three years old.

What is “Todo Sobre Mi?”

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"

 

When you hear the benefits of being bilingual and know that Spanish is a dominant language, it is definitely exciting to discover that your baby can easily learn it. MonkiSee has just released their first “teach baby Spanish DVD,” and we know you’re going to love it!

With the new MonkiSee DVD, “Todo Sobre Mi,” your child will begin their introduction into the Spanish language in a fun and delightful way.  As the name implies, children will learn – “All About Me.”  They will be taught the body parts and familiar first words in Spanish.  To most effectively teach your baby Spanish, we use the total immersion method.  For a full thirty minutes, your child will hear a native speaker narrating while they watch the actions play out on screen.

As with all of the MonkiSee videos, children will learn along with monkey brothers, Howie and Skip.  Babies will definitely be entertained as they watch the silly monkeys learning together. MonkiSee makes learning fun by engaging children throughout the videos.

Todo Sobre Mi” is filled with puppet skits, upbeat and original songs, children, animals, poetry, and much more.  It’s the perfect way to begin introducing your child to a new language.  Whether your children have never heard a word of Spanish, or are being raised in a Spanish-speaking home, “Todo Sobre Mi” is perfect for every child.

We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey in teaching babies Spanish.  To find out more about MonkiSee or purchase this video for your child, click here.

Can Babies Learn More Than One Language

Can Babies Learn More Than One Language?

We know that babies can learn to identify colors and shapes. They can learn to count and read, but can babies learn more than one language? If you’ve ever wondered at the possibility of teaching your child multiple languages, then you will definitely appreciate this month’s series – “Raising A Bilingual Baby.”

Honestly, your child can be more than bilingual, but we’ll discuss that in another post.

For now, let’s dive a little deeper into the possibility of babies learning more than one language. That may sound foreign to a lot of people, but it is possible for your child to learn more than one language. Even if you do not speak multiple languages, your child can learn them. You may be asking yourself “How is this possible?” If you’re ready to discover how babies learn more than one language, read on. It’s quite exciting.

 

Introducing Your Child to Different Languages

In order to understand how your child can learn multiple languages, let’s first take a quick look at how babies learn language in general. Contrary to what some may believe, we don’t actually need to “teach” our children language. The intricacies of a language may be taught later on, but babies don’t need to be taught how to speak. This occurs naturally.

In fact, babies are learning language from the moment they are born. Their brains soak up information like a sponge. While the complexities of all they’re learning may be astounding to us, it is a natural occurrence. For a child, learning language is extremely simple. During the period of birth to one year, babies have the amazing ability of learning multiple languages with ease. If you teach your child both English and Spanish simultaneously before the age of one, they will be able to speak each language with a perfect accent. This is true for any language you teach your child during the first years of life.

When babies are exposed to multiple languages before the age of one, they are able to decipher the nuances of each language and can effortlessly master each one. Even if they do not become fluent in a specific language, they will greatly benefit from their exposure to them.  Hearing a language before the age of one allows children to learn to speak that language like a native speaker without an accent.

It is important to remember that anyone can learn a new language. The key is – the younger the better. Teaching babies languages is optimal, but even young children can quickly learn a variety of languages. A child’s brain is wired to learn language, and it doesn’t matter how many you introduce them to.

Know that as the parent you have the great privilege of deciding what languages your child will learn. The time, ease, and efficiency in which your child learns language is completely dependent on you. They can learn so many languages effortlessly as babies, so why wait till high school to introduce one or two? You have the ability to give your child one of the greatest gifts. Don’t hesitate to start!

If you are not bilingual, don’t worry. It’s still possible for your child to learn multiple languages. You must simply be dedicated and purposeful in teaching him as much as you can.

 

Is It Possible for Me?

Sometimes we hear about the amazing abilities which babies possess, but we’re hesitant to believe that it’s possible for our children to accomplish such feats. It sounds too good to be true, right? If you doubt whether your child can learn more than one language, I have some incredible stories to share with you. Witnessing my children, and children of my friends, I was blown away by what they could do. It’s truly amazing and I hope that these stories inspire you to begin exposing your child to multiple languages as well.

 

3 Months to Language Fluency

I met a lady from Saudi Arabia many years ago.  Her son was three and he didn’t speak or understand a word of English.  Our communication was very strained because of this.  Three months later I saw them again and was astonished to meet a child that was speaking perfect English.  In my amazement I asked her how he learned to speak so well in such a short time.  She said that he learned from playing with the local kids.  I knew children could learn language quickly, but that just really blew me away.

 

How Spanish Helped My Son in School

I spoke as much Spanish as I could to my baby until he was two years old.  I taught him all I could with the limited Spanish I knew.  Although I didn’t continue I can see the benefits at work in his life.  Out of all of my six children, he picks up language the easiest.  We were studying Latin for school and he understood it almost effortlessly.  I attribute this to the exposure he had to Spanish.

 

Speaking to Friends vs. Studying in School

Haven’t you heard the stories of adults studying at the university for years in an attempt to learn a new language and their children, without any classes learn two or three languages just from interacting with babysitters or maids that speak a different language.  The parent, who has studied a language for years needs his child to be his translator when he wants to communicate effectively with a foreigner.  Perhaps by not teaching our babies multiple languages we are getting it all wrong.  What do you think?

 

If you’re excited to begin exploring the possibilities of teaching your child different languages, then be sure to check back for our next post on “How to Teach Children Multiple Languages.

Make Friends With Your Library

It is a good idea to make friends with your library.  This is such a wonderful resource for new books for your baby.  You can share your love of books with your baby early on.  Get baby used to going to the library from birth.  You can take an outing every few weeks and browse all the books.  You can show your baby a variety of board books, story books and even participate in story time.  By the time your baby is walking, they will have a good idea of what goes on at the library.  This is a great way to stay interested in reading to your baby and share a love of books that lasts a lifetime.

It is easy to get bored when you read the same books over and over.  By using the library you can try out all kinds of different books and discover new favorites you and your baby will enjoy.

Huge Magnetic Letters

I love school supplies.  I love flash cards and office supplies and pretty much anything educational.  I own more educational products and supplies than I know what to do with, but I just found something new that I just have to have.

I love magnetic letters.  The possibilities of what you can teach your child with them are endless.  I have been looking to get a new set. I am leaning toward lowercase letters, because they are used more frequently than uppercase, although I do need both.  I think my daughter will love the hands on play with letters and words.  Magnetic letters are great for learning the alphabet, teaching baby to read and learning how to spell.
With that in mind, I was flipping through the Lakeshore Learning catalog yesterday.  Look at what I found.  These are so great!  I really like the large letters.  They definitely get my attention.

Poetry and Babies

When you choose books to read to your little one, don’t exclude poetry.  Babies love poetry.  Since poetry is metered, it is very much like a song.  Each poem has its own rhythm that is it follows.  When you expose babies to these patterns in language, they quickly figure out the rhythms of each poem.  You can begin with something as basic as Mother Goose nursery rhymes and move on from there.  Mary Ann Hoberman has a great book of poetry for little ones.  It is called The Llama Who Had No Pajama.  


The nice thing about poetry is that the poems are usually short and easy to memorize.  You can read your baby some favorite poems and before you know it, you will be able to recite them from memory.  In order for children to be good writers in grade school, it is important that they be filled with great literature.  This is very easy to do by getting a daily dose of poetry.  Before long, you will probably be making up your own silly poems.  Babies love rhyming games and poetry is sure to become one of your baby’s favorite genres of literature.

Feed Your Baby’s Imagination

Imagination is at the heart of all creativity.  It is very difficult to be creative with little imagination.  So how can we feed our baby’s imagination?  Simple.  It starts by reading good books to your baby.  When you share great stories, fairy tales and adventures with your child, you are feeding their imagination.  What happens after you read books together is also important.  You should show your child how you can use your own imagination.  You can use a broomstick as a horse, hide under your covers from a big bear, which may just be a teddy bear, and save the princess from the dragon, which may be invisible.

In our interactions with our children, we can teach them how to use their imaginations through reading and our own examples. An imagination is a wonderful thing to have.  It can turn the dull into the exciting.  Children with great imaginations create their own worlds and entertain themselves for hours.  Read your child a book and feed their imagination.

Use Your Library

If you want to encourage of love of reading in your baby, read to them often.  Don’t overlook the wonderful selection of books available at the library.  I love the library.  We go often and check out at least 30 new books.  When we have a favorite, we tend to check it out over and over.    We seem to appreciate them more when we don’t own them.  They are more special when we see them on the shelf.  It is like meeting up with an old friend.  By checking books out at the library, we read and reread our selections.  Then we take them back for a whole new set.  You can check online for lists of great children’s books and then request them from your library.  What a wonderful way to encourage our babies to love reading.

Words Learned From Reading Rapunzel

Ever since I became aware of the Hayes-Ahrens study that stressed the importance of reading to our babies, I have been looking at books a bit differently.  It emphasized that when we read to children, they are exposed to words that they would not encounter through daily interactions with adults.

I have always loved books, and I delight in reading to my children, but I’ve never viewed books as a powerful means to teaching new vocabulary. However, that is exactly what reading to children does.  It familiarizes them with language, especially new and unfamiliar language. That is why it is so important to read to our children.  It makes it much less difficult for them to later read words that they have interacted with before.  They become familiar with how the words are used and what they mean.
With this in mind, I realized all of the new words my 2 year old daughter was learning as we read Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky.  The illustrations are just beautiful and my daughter loves the book and wants to hear it again and again.  By rereading the book, the new words are being stored in her brain for future use and reference.  I really have to agree with the study.  I can’t think of a situation, except when reading a book, when we would choose to use some of the following words.
  • luxuriant
  • craving
  • wretched
  • abundance
  • elegant
  • inquired
  • embraced
  • misery
  • landscape
  • plummeted
  • sheared
  • consented
  • vision
Reading a book to your child seems such a small investment of your time, for such large rewards.  And besides that, it is so much fun.

Words – Baby Brain Food

From birth to five years old, the words you speak to your child are their brain food.  As parents, we want our babies bodies to be healthy and strong.  We assure this by providing highly nutritive food for our children in order to keep them in good health.

In order to keep our children healthy intellectually, we need to provide them with lots of language.  This comes in the form of conversation, singing and reading a lot.  By reading a lot to your baby, you will lay a strong foundation in vocabulary and comprehension, which translates into a smarter child.
Here are some simple steps to nourishing your child’s brain development.
  • Talk to your baby about everything.
  • Sing to your baby.
  • Recite nursery rhymes from memory.
  • Read to your baby every day.
  • Play music for your baby.
  • Get classic books on tape or poetry, and play them when baby is playing.