Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spanish, German, or Other Children's Foreign Language Music CDs

If you live in the United States and you have little ones, here's a fun stocking stuffer that is also a painless way to help your child have a lifelong advantage in the workplace: fluency in a foreign language. As a country, we are so far behind the rest of the world in teaching and learning foreign languages. Study after study has shown that the earlier you start, the easier it is to learn. And at the younger ages, it can be just plain fun instead of work. If I had children, I would probably choose either German or Spanish: German because we think that three of my four great-grandparents came from Germany, or Spanish because I live in Texas, and many job listings prefer (although they don't require) at least a familiarity with Spanish.

I think the best way is to start with a CD of fun children's songs in the language, such as Songs in Spanish for Children or Kinderlieder (shown above). Play them in the car and sing along -- much better than a DVD that only your child in the backseat can see!

If your child seems responsive, you can even make it a Christmas stocking tradition, with a language CD or DVD or set of flashcards, advancing in difficulty as your child learns, each year. You can also pair the stocking gift with children's picture books in that language. Make the effort to learn the language with your child, if you don't already know it. If you stick with it, it truly is a gift that will keep giving for your child's entire lifetime.

No comments: