"You're BRAVER than you believe,
STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think."
-A.A Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to teach a toddler a foreign language you don't speak.

I do not speak Chinese. But  the reason I started new language lessons with Eaton was that any foreign language increases the number of synapses in the brain. Brain development was mine main reason to start other languages other than English and Polish. 
Also, I read great post on BrillKids,  one of early learning mom, who introduced multiple languages to her baby. I believe that was 7. When her baby was 2 years old he was talking in all of them swiching languages pretty easly.

I spend some time thinking about that after reading that post. Should I continue adding languages or not? After some research on Internet I decided to try it.
I wanted to pick the language different than Roman alphabet. I was thinking about Japanese as I love a lot about the language and their tradition. But when I tried to find any early learning materials Chinese was the language that was coming out  most often. I found so many sites with Chinese teaching materials. People on early learning forums where talking about that language. So I decided to teach him Chinese. 

I didn't  expect anything from Eaton regarding Chinese. I planned to play some videos and  music on the background during some days in the week. That's all.

The fist video series I shown to Eaton was: Little Pim

Eaton loved these videos a lot because of the cute panda in it. Very well done DVD, a little bit slow but it's a good  start.
After watching 3 DVD's with panda Eaton wanted more of Chinese. I did another search on internet and I found out this set of 6 educational DVD's. Great product! I saw very positive results after the baby watched that. These are short lessons in the form of flashcards. Music and songs are also included in each lesson.

We also have other products from the website I mentioned: Sing To Learn Chinese which Eaton loves to watch and listen songs and Animal Encyclopedic Bundle-Mandarin which I didn't show to Eaton yet.

Other great products I want to recommend are Chinese with Mei Mei (you can see some youtube videos here)

and Follow Jade! (youtube here)

I was showing Eaton all these DVD's one by one. At this point he watches Mei Mei and Jade DVD's. I highly recommend them as parents can learn together with a baby. 
These two woman are Chinese teachers and they just did great job to create product that my kid loves so much!!

There is one more product I would like to mention but not recommend. This is Journeys to the East.  Amazon reviewers gave this DVD many stars. I bought this DVD as I thought that i'ts in Chinese language with English subtitles. But when I received that, I realized I misunderstood the description. This DVD is in English. They teach few Chinese words by repeting them all over. It's very boring movie for babies who were exposed to early education. It's a great introductory movie as a second language for kids who are not early learners. Eaton watched that movie twice and never asked for it again.

So what is the result of watching all of these DVDs you ask?

Eaton started to speak Chinese. I would love to know what he is saying but he knows I don't  speak that language. He says something in Chinese and then he tells me: example: "it's a noodle in Chinese". And then he smiles :-)
 I decided to look for a Chinese teacher for Eaton. Month later I had a 18 years old girl visiting our house. We already had 2 lessons with her and I can't be happier. Although, she doesn't know too much about early learning, she knows how to prepare books with a picture and big fonts. She already created one for Eaton and put that book into action.

Here is the result:

I found few Chinese sites with printable flashcards and I will be implementing them with Yan. Here is one of them

Other sources to use to teach oral and written Chinese are:
* movies in Chinese (not educational)
* Chinese Apps for Ipad
* youtube videos
* to have a friend (ex.Chinese) that the baby can meet once a week or often
* send the baby to school where they speak particular language. My friend wanted to teach her boy Hawaiian language and she sent him to the school where they speak exclusively Hawaiian.

To summarize my post I found quite few methods to teach Chinese. But if you know about any other method please share in comments.

I really like to have Yan with us as I can direct lessons, provide materials Yan can use. I know what is done and I see quick results. Plus, it's a great company for Eaton!!!!


Airamty said...

Wao Martha!!!! Thanks so just inspired me to try and teach my daughter another language....She has been learning English and Spanish (from me) and French (from daddy) and so far she is doing great but since daddy has to work for long hours she is behind with French....also I have noticed that she really likes Chinese, too (whenever she watches some cartoons)....maybe I can try to help her with her French (looking for more resources) and introduce Chinese, too...What do you think about it??...she really loves languages.....maybe got that from her daddy (knows 5 languages so far)...also she is starting preschool on September and will have a French class once a week...other from those she doesn't have any other exposure to the language....Any advice will help...thanks! (Eaton sounds soooo cute!)

Olives and Pickles said...

I was wondering if you are teaching Eaton to read chinese or just speak it? OR both?
You know that I am teaching C chinese as well as a third language and I just use the picture with the characters I don't write pinyin...I think it could create confusion. Besides she can read almost anything by now and I think if I present the picture, the characters and pinyin(the pronunciation) she will just read pinyin and she won't focus in reading the character.
As I said this is my personal opinion..what do you think?

Thanks for sharing. Eaton is growing so much..he used to look like a big baby but now she looks like a big boy! They grow so fast ..don't they?
Thank you

lucyferka said...

Syna osłuchuję z niemieckim, angielskim, na co dzień wiadomo polski ale o chińskim nie pomyślałam. Warto by go osłuchać.
Powodzenia z chińskim!
Czy byłaby taka możliwość aby blog był także w wersji polskiej?

Ruamulla said...

this is amazing. they can do any thing ;-)
what about little reader in chinese????

rua said...

fount this for you for chinese flash cards.

Karmeleon said...

Have I emailed you the books I did before?

Anonymous said...

Kids are fast learners, great thing about this lessons you're able to learn other languages too at the same time. So its not just for kids its also for us adults.

Pani Tanguera i Gabiś said...

Wow, Marta, that's a lot of work you have done! And Eaton is really cute... :-) So, if I understood well, Eaton will be speaking English, Polish and Chinese. Good for him!
As far as for my son, he's teached Polish (me), Spanish (dad), and besides those also our two official Canadian languages: French and English (environment). I am also thinking of teaching him German at some point in the future... don't know yet when exactly, as this is my real second language and my closest family still lives over there (I used to live in Germany for ca.15 years). but I am concerned about doing too much, too fast... Hmmm... For now, I try to do my best for Polish, as I would like him to be able to speak, read, and write almost like a Pole... Let's see what HE thinks about that idea, hehe... ;-)
Greetings from your northern neighbour,

Marta said...

I'm sorry for that late response, but I had some things to take care of first.

Airamty,If you daughter loves languages you are in better position. Go for it. I have some French songs I can share. Kids love songs,Eaton loves also rhymings in different languages. Maybe you can try that. I didn't look for materials in French but Rosseta Stone has French too.

Olives and Pickles
How long do you teach your C Chinese? I'm teaching Eaton reading and speaking. I don't worry about presenting Pinyin to Eaton because I observed that baby who was exposed to early learning can learn anything. Pinyin is all about accent and it's good to know too. So I don't worry about confusion or paying attention to Pinyin more than to written characters. He is exposed to everything about that language. Also, it's easier for me to read something when Yan is not around ;-)

Lucyferka, Nie sadze, abym pisala po Polsku, prawde mowiac nie wiem czy mialabym na to czas. Poza tym chyba wiekszosc Polskich kobiet ktore czytaja moj blog mowia po angielsku, ale moze to zmienie, kto wie :)

Yes, I forgot to mentioned Chinese BrillKids and I purchase that program but my Eaton wasn't interested at all after about 10 lessons so I forgot about it. But I know that other people have different experience with BrillKids, more positive. Not Eaton though.
Thank you for the link to semanda, I lost that link somewhere before and I couldn't find it. Thank you for mentioning that.

Agree with you. I learned some words in Chinese too, not too many but it's really hard language to me :)

Pani Tanguera,
Thank you. I teach Eaton: Polish, English, Chinese, Spanish, recently I added Russian and Japanese. Japanese is easy for me to say words after videos and we have more fun with that language. Please don't be concerned about doing too much too fast. They are fast learners in the first 6 years of life (it's proofed) so use that time fully!!! Of course having fun with all you do :-)

ruamulla said...

check this website

Marta said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!
This is what I was looking for! This touch reading pen is just a perfect addition for Eaton. He would love to play, touch, listen, see these colorful books. They are a little bit pricy so I would need to make some selections. And Flashcards... nice :)

Thank you so much!!
Have a wonderful week!

I will write some post after using these books and a pen in the future.

ruamulla said...

Dear marta.
You are welcome. subscibe to their mailing list 1st to get a 10% discount valid for 14 days .
i just started chinese with Rkan using Brillkid. an ordered baby learn chinese DVD to start with. how long far did u start Chinese with Eaton.
Rkan is exposed to English, Arabic, French and Chinese Recently.
i am hoping to start Spanish in the near future so i am tuned for yr Spanish post to know whats good in that field.
And can u please check You puzzle post. i need some guidance ;-P
Thank you dear marta and eaton.

Anonymous said...

Very solid and clear recommendations. You might also want to check Dino Lingo DVDs to get some fresh ideas

Marta said...

Actually,I was very interested in those videos, but because I don't see any other samples than English I hesitate to purchase.I'm not sure how Polish language sounds on those DVD's. I thought about showing my kids some Polish DVD's as there are none on Polish market that I know about.

Karmeleon said...

can see on youtube

Polish for kids DVD set

Don't seem to have any others in other languages for preview though. Only in Polish.

Marta said...

When I looked at their website about 3 weeks ago they didn't have Polish sample. They updated recently ;-)

Thanks Karmeleon,

Cheap 1300 Number said...

Foreign languages are in fact very important nowadays.


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