Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bilingual Learning is FUN!!!

I am told that when I was born, Spanish was the first language I spoke. My great-grandmother on my mother's side was from San Luis Potosí, and my father and all of his family is from Spain. But given time and circumstance, as is so often the case with second, third and fourth generations, English quickly took dominance.

I so desperately want my children to grow up to be bilingual, but I have to admit that as this crazy fourth/second generation Latina, I often forget to speak Spanish with my kids. ¡Qué vergüenza! It doesn't help that my husband doesn't speak a bit of Spanish. And it has gotten worse since we moved away from friends and family over a year ago to a teeny, tiny town in NC where very few Hispanics live. (Fortunately, my husband's company often brings in interns from other countries, including those in Central and South America. You can't imagine my joy upon meeting these people. They must think I am some crack-pot from all the desperate affection I lavish upon them. But that's another story...)

As I have mentioned before, it galls me to know that my children sometimes learn more Spanish watching the occasional children's show, but relieves me at the same time. Which leads me to my next review!

Professor Pocket has been such a delight to learn about. They have the neatest bilingual audio CD that teaches children Spanish in a fun way by seamlessly weaving together English and Spanish words in songs and stories. They don't bombard us with boring vocabulary exercises. I have often heard that learning a foreign language is much easier when you are a child because you learn language differently. When we are older, it is just memorization. But as a child, we learn the meanings of words by the way they are used and a bunch of other ways.

Professor Pocket's debut CD is called "Our Silly Farm Adventure" and their second CD is due out in May. Their album features three lovable and sometimes silly characters - Professor Pocket (of course), Desi the Dinosaur and Chico the Chicken.

Nathalie Simmons Jorge and Paula Jorge Guglielmino are the creators of Professor Pocket. These sisters-in-law decided to join forces in 2005 to create an educational tool that was both fun for kids and adults. I think they have succeeded.

If you'd like to order a CD or hear some audio clips from their debut album, click here.

Their website gives a lot of information about their product, bilingual education, and also features a page just for children with different games on it. They even have a link to this great article about the advantages of raising bilingual children which I am including here.

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