Monday, April 25, 2011

Speaking In Tongues

I wanted to share with all of you something really neat that's going on with James.

Lately he has really been into numbers and foreign languages. Or more specifically, he's really into counting in foreign languages.

The other day, he took out some number flashcards (1-25), lined them up and then invented a game called "number store". I'd ask him for a card in one of the languages he knows (for example I'd say, "May I have "deux" please?") and he'd bring me the #2 card.

We carried on like this, alternating languages, until all the cards were "purchased". Whenever he gave me a card, I'd give him a marble in exchange.

I was surprised to see he could translate the languages so quickly in his mind - going from English to Chinese to Spanish to French to German. Often times I had to pause and quickly assess in my mind if he was correct or not before accepting the card!

I must stress that this interest in languages is ALL James. His interest, his desire, his sensitive period. As always, my husband and I simply provide the materials and if he likes something - great. If not, that's totally fine, too.

As to how he came to know these languages, a couple of years ago we purchased a Mandarin language DVD called Muzzy (this series is available in other languages, too). James really enjoyed it and has since learned how to count and say a few basic phrases in Chinese. Thanks to Sesame Street, he's also learned a bit of Spanish. My husband knows some French and I took 6 years of German in HS, so he's gotten a taste of those languages through us. But it still isn't enough for him. He recently asked, "What other languages are there?"

We turned to the internet and found some great language videos on Youtube (just visit YT and type in whatever language you're looking for - you'll see lots of option pop up). We'll be learning some Latin and Italian next and I hope we give his Italian grandma a smile this Christmas.

~Thank you for your comments!~


Donaji said...

we had the 'follow muzzy' sets when we were little to learn english (i'm mexican) we loveed it!! i know there is one for french!!! its a great system for kids... maybe i will purchase one set for my son!! i had totaly forgoten about it.. it hin its by the bbc right? :)

Theresa Mezo said...

Wow! Go James! That is so awesome that he is interested in different languages, what a fun way to play & learn too.. love that your kitty is napping amongst all the play in the background! ;)

Anonymous said...

What fun it looks like James had a lot of fun playing that game! Is he interested in learning more than numbers in them? Do you know where I work..? Let me know if you guys are interested in learning a language and I can hook you up :-)

Umm Maimoonah said...

O wonderful! Why not try Arabic with him. It is a very rich language and I am sure he would catch it fast! And you get lots of classical Arabic stuff out there!

A. said...

We've been exposing our LO to secondary languages as well. We have been using Little Pims and he loves them... Thanks for posting about Muzzy, I had not been aware of it and am now excited to try it!

tia said...

Norma will be so happy!!!!!!!!!! :)

Leigh said...

I have a feeling it's not ALL James. If I do recall, his mommy might have a little interest in foreign languages. Looks like you've passed it along! :-)

Ewa said...

Great game and it allows for switching between languages ;-) I think that love for languages is contagious ;-) We have a lot of books in various languages on are shelfs, our kids see us read in foreign languages and one day they want to discover them themselves. All of a sudden something magical happens ;-)
Great job James love for languages is a life long and exciting adventure;-)
Hugs from Poland

Adriana@ClassicalQuest said...

A friend recommended your blog to me. I love it! I'm sure I will be a frequent visitor.

julie said...

We do Mandarin Chinese CDs and DVDs in the car right now, and Spanish at home, and I have Latin and Greek in the planning stages. When my girls are this young, my priorities are primarily to expose them to as many different languages as possible--formal study can come whenever it comes, but the more cognates, the better!

Eva said...

that's fantastic :) great job James!

Aimée said...

Go James! I love the idea of sharing different languages! Ive been thinking about doing it with colours!


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