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Sam
01-14-2011, 09:51 PM
That if I was my younger daughter (18 mths) to have exposure to French (I don't speak a word of it, but it's very hard to get a job in my area without being bilingual) she should at least go to Junior and Senior Kindergarten (4 and 5 yrs old).

Then I thought, wait a minute. Other people with no other language skills homeschool from the start and teach their children another language. There's no reason I'd have to send DD2 to school at all!

So, my question is.... what did you/will you use to teach another language to your young child?

My DD1 was in French Immersion from JK til I pulled her, so now it's a matter of making sure she doesn't lose the French she has and continue to find people who will converse with her in French.

With DD2 however, I know very little French but WANT her to speak it. She is exposed to French though as we watch French cartoons sometimes and DD1 will speak to her in French occasionally and I throw in the rare French phrase (don't touch is the most common).

But I need something that is almost self-teaching with how little I know. With DD1 I can not do any French workbooks with her unless there is a clear answer key/teacher's guide.

Any ideas?

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
01-14-2011, 10:09 PM
My husband picked this up, but we haven't used it yet:

http://www.amazon.com/Play-Learn-French-Book-Audio/dp/0071441514/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295060745&sr=1-1

It's a book and CD of conversations and songs between a parent and child through a normal day (waking up, eating breakfast, going to the grocery store, etc.).

KristinK
01-14-2011, 10:13 PM
hey Sam, what area of Ontario are you in? I'm in Qc, but my family is all in Ontario (I'm the transplant).

I've been toying with buying Rosetta Stone for my 7yr old to start doing. I keep going back and forth on that. My french is poor, but my husband and his family speak french (I thought they would just teach the kids french, but it somehow seems to be up to me).

Sam
01-14-2011, 10:24 PM
MonkeyMama, I'll check out the link, thanks!

Kristin, I'm in Eastern Ontario, about 30 mins from the Quebec boarder. I looked into Rosetta Stone too, but I'm cheap lol and it seems to be pretty expensive.

KristinK
01-14-2011, 10:34 PM
Sam, my husband and I keep looking for farmland in that part of Ontario. We had "bought" a 100 acre homestead in Glengarry, but unfortunately we lost it as we didn't sell our house in time (then I got pregnant and we stopped looking...now that baby's 6months we've been getting that itch for farmland again).

someone on a homeschool exchange forum is selling the Rosetta Stone for about half price I think. I have the email somewhere if you're interested. I wanted to buy it but got vetoed by DH as we're broke after xmas!

MarkInMD
01-14-2011, 10:53 PM
We're using Rosetta Stone for Spanish (Latin America) for Hurricane (3rd grade). There's a homeschool edition that has worksheets and lesson plans that helps us plan things out. It definitely is expensive, but I would say worth it -- with this main caveat (mentioned in another thread):

There is absolutely no English included, not even on the worksheets. It's complete immersion. So if you as a parent/teacher don't have some experience with the language, you're going to have to take the lessons with your child! (I have a fair amount of Spanish, so I'm keeping up so far.) Otherwise I can see a lot of confusion and frustration coming out of it. It does go at a pretty slow pace, but I find myself having to reinstruct Hurricane on some things from previous lessons.

A couple minor quibbles:

IMO, it's weak on conjugation of verbs. At least for a 3rd grader who is otherwise very linguistically adept (in English, that is!), he's not always able to make the leap to give different verb forms to different subjects. (He'll give a singular verb to a plural subject or vice versa.) They don't really explain that words like soy, eres, es, somos, and son are all connected, but with different nouns or pronouns. It's just expected you'll pick it up from the examples.

Also, and this may be a unique problem for us, but the included microphone doesn't always work that great. I can hear him pronouncing things just fine, but the computer insists his pronunciation is off. But often if we restart the lesson, it'll be fine. Just a bit inconsistent.

That being said, I think its pluses outweigh its minuses. It's great at connecting visual information with words and audio, which is key to comprehension and conversation. Just bear in mind that you'll probably have to be fairly engaged in the instruction. Just because it's on the computer doesn't make it a set-it-and-forget-it proposition.

Dutchbabiesx2
01-14-2011, 10:54 PM
We use RosettaStone, and my husband speak Dutch to the boys 80% of the time, though English to me. We also spend as much time in the language as possible, friends and visitors and going abroad. So they have been immersed since a young age.
Here is Muzzy- cheaper than Rosetta stone and more kid friendly:
http://www.early-advantage.com/programs_french_ftd.aspx

Riceball_Mommy
01-15-2011, 09:32 AM
Though I have no personal experience with this, I've seen good reviews: Little Pim (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Pim-3-Pak-French-Panda/dp/B0010GWP2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295101557&sr=8-1). It seems to be along the same lines as Muzzy, also there is a chance your library may have it so you can try it first. Right now my library only has Hebrew. Also they sell it through Barnes and Noble so you can use their teacher discount card if you have it.

I am hoping to invest in Rosetta Stone myself at some point, and I'm actually happy to hear that I will have to learn along with my daughter. I wanted to learn the language along with her, so needing to will be a great way to keep motivated.

MarkInMD
01-15-2011, 09:50 AM
Yeah, if you're a complete beginner to a language, Rosetta Stone can work for any age from about 7 to adult.

dbmamaz
01-15-2011, 10:44 AM
Just so you know, my canadian husband tried speaking french exclusively to our son, except of course, i speak no french so the conversation AROUND him was always english, as well as the tv. His speech was delayed and we were told to cut out the french, and when hubby tried again a year later, my son rebelled.

However, i would think that you should be able to find other homeschoolers in your area for french immersion playdates or a 'class' for little kids.

MarkInMD
01-15-2011, 11:27 AM
We have some former neighbors -- Mom's from Brazil, Dad's from Bolivia -- who have spoken English, Portguese, and Spanish to their kids from birth. They were experiencing the same speech delays Cara mentioned for a while, but eventually (around age 6 or so), they all of a sudden clicked with all of it. It's going to be an incredible advantage for them to be not just bi-lingual, but tri-lingual.

dbmamaz
01-15-2011, 11:38 AM
Yeah, if i was more aware of that at the time (that bilingual kids often speak later) i might have persisited. But also, my first two kids were really early talkers. Ok, my oldest was scary early - 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday, I turned the page of a book we'd only had for two weeks, and she blurted out "Poor Rabbit. His splendid plan for unbouncing Tigger did not work out very well." So, I thought her brother was a slow talker, becuase he was behind her. It turns out he was also a very early talker. So I have to admit, i was REALLY nervous about having a late talker. It was just so foreign to me. He also learned to read about 2 years later than they did. So I dont think it was all the bilingual stuff, i think its partly a different language processing system. His father has significant language processing issues - but still has a genius IQ, so i dont worry too much.

dottieanna29
01-15-2011, 12:08 PM
I'm planning to teach my kids Spanish starting very soon. I'm going to use these free videos (http://www.knowitall.org/instantreplay/content/LanguageIndex.cfm?offset=0)to start. They also have French and German and teacher's guides to go with them. Then, I plan to start having them watch some of their favorite DVD's in Spanish. Most US release movies have an option for Spanish and French (we have a few with options for Mandarin Chinese). After they are past the point that these videos are helping, I'll probably look into Rosetta Stone or something similar. We do have a lot of Spanish (Hispanic) speakers around here (including there grandfather) so it should be possible to keep up.

wild_destiny
01-15-2011, 02:41 PM
We have some former neighbors -- Mom's from Brazil, Dad's from Bolivia -- who have spoken English, Portguese, and Spanish to their kids from birth. They were experiencing the same speech delays Cara mentioned for a while, but eventually (around age 6 or so), they all of a sudden clicked with all of it. It's going to be an incredible advantage for them to be not just bi-lingual, but tri-lingual.

I am very surprised to hear of these examples about later speech/speech delays in children who are exposed to multiple languages early. Though it has been a while since I explored this subject, I was under the strong impression that children easily learn multiple languages if it is done from birth in their environment. I don't mean trying to teach a baby, so much as raising a baby in a house where several different languages are spoken on a daily basis. I have known of several families, the mothers and fathers of which, spoke different languages. The kids caught on quickly and grew up knowing both languages. It is surprising to hear that this may not be the case, after all.

hockeymom
01-15-2011, 02:51 PM
DS had a good friend back home who learned Japanese (both parents are from Japan) and English at the same time. He attended a Japanese preschool and they spoke Japanese to him at home, but in public they and he spoke English. DS had speech delays yet the two of them always managed to understand each other. By 4 his buddy was fluent in both languages.

Teri
01-15-2011, 02:52 PM
I worked for ECI for ten years (Early Childhood Intervention), birth-three years. Language delay was a frequent reason for referral. It was not uncommon at all for a multilingual family to have a child with a language delay. It is very common for a child trying to acquire more than one language to take longer to speak at all.

MarkInMD
01-15-2011, 10:56 PM
I can completely see why there are language delays, but as I said, now their older two kids (who will soon turn 7 and 5) are now blossoming and can converse in any of those three languages. Those girls already have a leg up that most kids don't have, so it all might work out in the end.

dbmamaz
01-15-2011, 11:32 PM
Right, i think a delay is common but its not a problem, its just a delay. i just didnt have that confidence back then when my 2 yo had a vocab of 18 words, and 1/2 were english, 1/3 made-up, and the rest french.

Shoe
01-16-2011, 10:24 AM
We use Rosetta Stone too, for both Spanish and French, and like it, though my kids are older.

wild_destiny
01-16-2011, 12:21 PM
It makes sense that seeing mouth movement would be crucial to someone who is learning to speak a language. My thought is that it is not merely seeing the mouth move, but seeing an entire unspoken set of actions that back up the language that is spoken--those myriad of things that people do, the expressions that they have on their faces, the body language, and so on--that give weight and meaning to the words that are spoken, such as the kind of things that happen in the course of one's daily life. The younger a child is, the less preconceived notions he has and the more his brain is like a sponge, so when a young child sees mom say to dad in the kitchen, "Would you please give me the eggs?" and then dad gets eggs from the refrigerator, the young child has only that to process. If both parents give separate languages equal time in every day life, I can't see any reason for this to create a significant delay in any child. Instead of learning one word for eggs, the child just learns two. He does not have to unlearn anything or force himself to learn something contrary to what has already been established because nothing has been established thus far. However, if a child is already fluent (or well on his way) in one language, or has only been exposed to one primary language from birth, then I can see how adding a second would be confusing and slow things down, because now the new information must be weighed against what he thought he knew as the only way to express something.

It is so baffling and frustrating the way educational styles and popular methods come and go with their hype about the proper way/time to do something. In the early 90's there was a great deal of "research" that supported teaching a child a second language long before their 5th birthday. If you failed to do this, you were practically a bad parent. The earlier the better was the mindset, supposedly with lots of real life examples to back this up. Now it is apparently the opposite. Sometimes it is frustratingly difficult to separate the hype from all the actual research to know what has worked in certain types of situations and what hasn't. Thank you all for being frank about the less than stellar aspects of early childhood language teaching. This does seem like a fascinating subject! :)

Sam
01-16-2011, 12:41 PM
Sam, my husband and I keep looking for farmland in that part of Ontario. We had "bought" a 100 acre homestead in Glengarry, but unfortunately we lost it as we didn't sell our house in time (then I got pregnant and we stopped looking...now that baby's 6months we've been getting that itch for farmland again).

If you end up in the area, let me know, we could meet up!

Sam
01-16-2011, 12:42 PM
Just so you know, my canadian husband tried speaking french exclusively to our son, except of course, i speak no french so the conversation AROUND him was always english, as well as the tv. His speech was delayed and we were told to cut out the french, and when hubby tried again a year later, my son rebelled.

However, i would think that you should be able to find other homeschoolers in your area for french immersion playdates or a 'class' for little kids.

Now that you mention it, I think I remember hearing about a little preschool program meant for English kids to learn French. I'll have to check it out!

Sam
01-16-2011, 12:47 PM
Children that young cannot pick up a foreign language without seeing the speaker's mouth moving. I know that sounds crazy, but there's actually a pretty solid amount of research on this. When a child under about age 3, I think it is, hears a foreign language disconnected from a visible, human speaker, they don't associate it with language at all. It's like background noise to their brains and they tune it out as such. This is why those Baby Einstein videos actually hinder language development - they consist mostly of disembodied voice overs. I'm out of town right now and connecting through my phone in the backwoods of Mississippi, so I can't look that stuff up, but you should be able to find some research on it, if you're interested.

I can't recommend a good program for you or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that so you wouldn't waste your money on something that simply wouldn't work for a little, bitty one that age. :)

Thanks for the info, I did not know that! DD2 does watch the occasional BE movie from the library but just cause I see she likes the puppets.

I hadn't really planned to start her on French until at least 4/5 yrs, I'm just a waaaay too in advanced planner lol