We received this encouraging story of the beginnings of loving language learning from a mom a few months ago and want to share it with you. Language learning while living in a foreign culture is so crucial to a child's bonding with that culture. Their attitude toward it is everything!
"Thank you SO much for the work you do. We have been living in [African Arabic-speaking country] for four years and we have a 3, 4 and 6 year old. The older two were in Arabic preschool last year but we made the decision to do home schooling for them in the summer and simultaneously picked up a copy of Language Mama. We have been doing Language Mama weekly with a neighbor's teenage daughter since last September, and to say that it has been a game changer for us would be an understatement.
Our children have learned SO much language and culture, but the biggest gain has been their attitude to it, and the joy they have being around their language 'mama' and her family. They are so much more confident at speaking arabic, they are proud of their achievements, they are interested in learning more (they don't even realize they are learning!) and their engagement with the local culture has been so positive.
"As a mama I am so thankful that I am part of the process (last year when they were in preschool, their Arabic preschool world was a life of theirs I wasn't involved in and they didn't even know how to talk about it with me). It has been one of the best things we have ever undertaken as a family and we recommend it to everyone we know! Thank you so much for your hard work in devising and promoting the curriculum. "
SUNDAY - Prep Day.
I gathered my Go Dog Go book, some assorted toys, and my fully charged iPad mini. I asked Christine to help me film some videos for the week. She obliged. It took 20 minutes to film myself doing the Family script, Curtesy Script, and reading the book aloud in Hindi. The videos as you will see are unedited and were made in a single take. I'm doing it this way so you can make your own new mistakes and not the same ones I made! I used iMovie on my iPad to add titles to the movies for your reference. But the videos were so simple they definitely don't need any fancy titles.
I also had images to go with Go Dog Go and quickly made those into a coloring sheet on my laptop, then printed off a few copies.
Then I picked up M's favorite stuffed animal and did the song again (I know this song well, so I am able to sing it accurately) with the stuffed toy doing the hand motions. N just listened while he did his own thing. TIP: even when your toddler/son does not want to participate, just say "Ok, then you can play quietly and listen." The child is still receiving the language! Don't force participation.
After they watched the video, I opened the physical Go, Dog, Go book and they poured over each picture up close, while N kept exclaiming "Why do we have to do this in Hindi?" I just answered, "Just a couple more minutes" and continued describing the pictures in Hindi.
N asked me to read the book in English but I said "Right now, we are making this a book special for Hindi. I can read you a different book in English!" TIP: Keep your language learning tools separate and special so your children will always expect to interact with them in the new language instead of English.
Next post will be about my hour long Weekly Class! I'm excited to share how it went for the first time. Seeya then. -Alyssa
Now I'm finally in a place where I feel doing it poorly/sub-par is better than not doing it at all for several reasons:
Visit soon for my next post as I begin our first week of Language Mama Hindi!
At times while answering the questions of "how will we distribute our book? How will we promote this stuff?" Christine and I have gone back and forth over selling our content at a profit, or at-cost, or making it free, or making it free to friends and associates who can test it for us. We've been all over the place.
Christine (and my own husband) has persuaded me to go completely free: "We want people all over the world to give it a try no matter what language-learning situation they're in. Why not make it free to them and see what happens?" I was convinced especially since I've benefited greatly from free resources online and realized THAT is the open-handed, open-source virtual community that we want our curriculum to join.
I am so happy to announce the opening of our new PDF Store, where you can easily download every program and book Christine and I have created!
For those who want to officially join what we are trying to do in the world of early language learning, please join our Patreon family. We are looking for others who want to be part of this team!
Two years and one baby since we published our curriculum on Amazon Kindle Store, and the Language Learning for Children Official Coloring Book is now available!
I am extremely excited to share this with you today. It is my joy to create these illustrations, because I know the cute look of wide-eyed discovery children get when they get to hold a coloring page, their little minds already imagining what colors they shall use to color each part of the page.
What is so fun about coloring pictures? It's not just for kids anymore, coloring books for adults are trendy right now. Even coloring book apps are popular. Adding the element of coloring pages to every language lesson is a fun way to engage children's minds and creativity, and give them something to "take home" after the class. Encourage your class to save their colored sheets (maybe they can each personalize a special folder to keep their colored sheets together) for review on their own, or with their siblings.
(for more ideas on how to use the coloring book with your class, view the PDF download page here)
This would not be possible without support from my husband and graphic design help from my older sister. Thank you both for helping this little book become reality. For now at least, we are making the coloring book PDF free to users of our curriculum. It's not easy to print large images off a Kindle book, so we thought we would make it a free PDF download available through the website.
Why are you still here reading? Click "Coloring Book" above and download it right now!