Children are natural language learners. Research shows that the best time to acquire a new language is before the age of 10. Expose children to language in a natural way, using games, music, and immersion techniques. Enhance foreign language instruction at home or in the classroom by providing a variety of input with DVD’s, CD’s, and books.
Teaching Methods Text
Before purchasing any other materials, educate yourself on the best way to teach languages to kids. Languages and Children–Making the Match: New Languages for Young Learners Grades K-8 (3rd Edition) is the most comprehensive guide for communicative teaching methods for kids. The authors, Helena Curtain and Carol Ann Dahlberg, provide much more than methodology. Discover standards-based instruction, program models, ways to address different learning styles/multiple intelligences, guidance for teaching culture, and effective strategies and activities. This book is indispensable for anyone teaching foreign languages to children.
The BBC produces the Muzzy videos and DVD’s. Toddlers, preschoolers, and students K-8 are immersed in language as they follow the animated adventures of an alien named Muzzy. For school aged children, Muzzy can be used to enrich a language program, or it can be the language program. Along with the DVD, there is an audio program, script book, computer games CD-ROM, vocabulary builder, and exercise/activity book. Muzzy is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese.
Teach Me CD’s
Since 1985, the Teach Me language program has introduced young children to foreign languages through bilingual music and short narrations by native children. Each CD is accompanied by a coloring book including the song lyrics and translations. These products are ideal for use in both the classroom and at home.
Teach Me CD’s introduce basic vocabulary (alphabet, numbers, family, weather, etc.) through familiar and cultural nursery songs. It is especially well-suited to preschool and early elementary students. The beginning Teach Me program is available in ten languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Teach Me More CD’s build on basic vocabulary through the theme of months and seasons of the year. This level is available in nine languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Teach Me Even More, available in French and Spanish, is the most advanced program, emphasizing conversation and writing in addition to the songs. The language level and the theme of writing letters is appropriate for children throughout the elementary school years.
Spiritual Songs, available in French and Spanish, introduce bilingual Sunday School songs, stories, and prayers.
Christmas CD’s include bilingual holiday songs, as well as stories, customs, and recipes. This cultural holiday program is available in French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Berlitz Kids Language Packs
Available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian, these programs are designed primarily for families with children ages 5 and up. Each language pack includes a story book (The Missing Cat), an audio CD, 100-word picture dictionary, and parents’ guide.
Usborne First Thousand Words Books
Usborne publishes the ultimate foreign language picture dictionaries. Once children are already familiar with a new language orally, these books provide an extensive illustrated vocabulary to introduce the written word. While better suited to one-on-one teaching, these dictionaries belong on the bookshelf of anyone teaching kids a new language. The Usborne picture word books and sticker books are available in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Hebrew.
Foreign language input can be provided in a variety of fun ways for kids. Use DVD’s, CD’s, and books to provide or enhance effective language instruction. Build a collection of foreign language resources for your children or students.