Learning another language is a big brain boost–plus it is tons of fun, too.
We’ve written before about the benefits of bilingualism. Watching a language video, like the ones from Little Pim, with your older toddler, preschooler, kindergartner, or grade-school age child can help boost proficiency–especially if you discuss the video with your child. And if you are not a native speaker, DVDs and CDs in foreign languages are absolutely essential as part of your language program.
Whether you have adopted a child from another country, want your child to know more about your heritage language, or just want to give your kid the opportunity to develop the flexibility of mind that comes with multilingualism, learning another language is a great activity to do together.
Plus, multilingualism lends a person of any age a certain je nes sai quoi–Angelina Jolie uses Little Pim to help Shiloh Jolie-Pitt learn French.
Little Pim bilingual videos are a perfect compliment to your language learning. I’ve reviewed a number of language videos for children and I’m a huge fan of Little Pim.
First, Little Pim is available in a wider variety of languages than most other DVDs–Spanish and French are fairly easy to find, but Little Pim also has videos for children in Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, and German.
And Little Pim is an integrated system, with three DVDs available in each language, and a CD and flashcards available in some of the languages. There are coloring pages and other parent and teacher materials available for each language on the website. Plus there is a plush Little Pim panda who speaks the international language of cuteness.
There is substantial research that shows that children, and even adults, learn best when they encounter concepts in multiple formats.
Each of the three 35-minute videos–Eating and Drinking, Wake Up Smiling, and Playtime–shows short five-minute segments of objects and activities that are familiar to children. So, you can pause and discuss or just show one short segment for younger children.
The adorable Little Pim panda introduces each segment with funny antics. Then, live-action footage of children and adults is narrated in the target language. There is a lot of repetition and review to reinforce the vocabulary but with enough variation to keep the interest of older children and adults. I really appreciate that the narration frequently uses complete sentences to give the audience a feel for grammar in addition to the simple vocabulary.
You can check out short clips of the video on the website.
With all the research that went into building such an impressive language learning system for children, it is no surprise that Julia Pimsleur Levine is behind this series. Julia Pimsleur Levine is an award winning documentary filmmaker who, mother of two, and the daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur, a pioneer in foreign language learning.
We are very selective about which videos my three year old daughter watches and “Spanish Panda” and “Russian Panda” as she calls them have become favorites in our household.
WANT IT: Visit Little Pim to purchase online (individual DVDs are $18, set of three is $50).
WIN IT: Little Pim is offering one lucky reader a DVD of choice (any of the three DVDs in any of the 10 available languages) and a Spanish or French Bop CD. To enter, please visit Little Pim and then leave us a comment with which DVD you will select and also please tell us why you want to share that language with your child!
Contest ends 11:59 PM EST, March 4, 2010. Winner Chosen at Random. Shipping to US addresses only.