Bilingual babies

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Earlier this evening I ordered the Muzzy Language Learning System for the kids. It is supposed to be the best of its kind. I have had my eye on these videos since Madalyn was a baby but never made a move to get them until now. I feel as though it’s always advantageous to know a second language and even moreso if that language is Spanish. It would be handy to know nowadays and I imagine it will be even more prevalent by the time the kids get older, which is one of the reasons I picked it.
Another reason I chose Spanish is that John-Zachary already has a start on it from watching Dora the Explorer. Laugh if you will, but the fact remains that the child, at only 2.5, counts better in Spanish than he does in English. In English he leaves out four and five every time but he can count perfectly up to ten in Spanish. And it’s not just rote; he actually counts objects. He also uses other Spanish words. When he wants something open he will say abrir. Earlier tonight he had a telephone cord and he was stretching it out to maximum length and saying “gordo” (fat). Then he squished it up small and wanted to know what that was so I told him pequeño. He went back and forth for a while, stretch, squish, stretch, squish, saying “gordo….pequeño” the entire time. What fascinates me is it’s totally organic. It’s not me quizzing him, coaxing him to say things. It’s just part of his normal vocabulary. He’ll be off, playing by himself, and I hear him counting in Spanish. I think he’s definitely a willing vessel to receive the information. Madalyn doesn’t use any Spanish words in conversation but she can count 1-10 and does know some other words so I think she will learn a lot, too. With her it is just something she’ll say if you prompt her; she didn’t watch Dora when she was JZ’s age so it’s coming later to her and you can already tell a difference. She has to make a conscious effort to say the words whereas JZ seems to say them without thinking about it first. There’s an extra advantage with Madalyn, though, and that is she will watch just about anything, so at least I don’t worry about whether it will hold her attention or not. JZ is a crapshoot whether or not he’ll actually sit through an entire video.
Incidentally, I also dug out the potty video today, for the first time, and JZ watched it twice. So who knows? Perhaps by his third birthday he will be both potty-trained AND bilingual. How good would that make me look? People will never know it was all achieved through the magic of television.

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

4 responses »

  1. ¡Felicitaciones, Maria! Espero que los niños aprendan la segunda lengua rápidamente y fácilmente. I, por otra parte, no puede hablar una sola palabra del español.
    Senor Dave

  2. Yah.. what Dave said… 🙂
    I think getting kids from early on with 2nd language is a great idea. Biggest problem is that they need someone to talk to after you turn off the TV / Tape. You need to learn these languages as well! (says the monolingual woman wih a bookcase full of language tapes).

  3. I would never laugh at Dora or Diego teaching Spanish to kids because they’ve taught mine too! My daughter knows all the colors, numbers, and opposites from those shows. I’d like to know if Muzzy works for you when you get it. My dh’s side is Mexican so his parents speak Spanish and my daughter likes to show off her abilities to “papa.”

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