See those babies cooing in the corner? According to a recent Time Magazine article, they’re the best linguists in the room. Babies are born, Time’s Jeffrey Kluger says, with the inherent ability to speak and understand the world’s 6,800 languages, and that babies, and then children, are able to continue to easily learn multiple languages up into early grammar school.
Kluger goes on to say that later in life, having gained these language abilities as babies and children, multilingual adults “are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas. They work faster and expend less energy doing so, and as they age, they retain their cognitive faculties longer, delaying the onset of dementia and even full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.”
In case you haven’t already seen it, there’s a great article from the New York Times about all the benefits of bilingualism
“Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age”
Little Pim was proud to co-host a Bilingual Education Panel in New York City in November 2011 with Big City Moms and Kidville, featuring some of the most knowledgeable educators. Watch this 4 minute video to see the highlights.
Enjoy, and let us know if you have any questions of your own.
The New York Times published an article entitled: “Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Tell Language Apart.” The demand for foreign language education programs is growing among parents who realize both the cognitive and social benefits of their children growing up multilingual.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Washington measured the electrical brain responses of “monolingual” infants (those from homes where one language is was being spoken) against those from bilingual households. The New York Times reported on the results:
“…the researchers found that at 6 months, the monolingual infants could discriminate between phonetic sounds, whether they were uttered in the language they were used to hearing or in another language not spoken in their homes. By 10 to 12 months, however, monolingual babies were no longer detecting sounds in the second language, only in the language they usually heard.”
Over the past decade, Dr Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research Professor of Psychology at York University in Toronto, has shown that bilingual children develop crucial skills in addition to their double vocabularies, learning different ways to solve logic problems or to handle multitasking, skills that are often considered part of the brain’s so-called executive function.
These higher-level cognitive abilities are localized to the frontal and prefrontal cortex in the brain. “Overwhelmingly, children who are bilingual from early on have precocious development of executive function,” Dr. Bialystok said.
Little Pim allows families, even families who are not bilingual, to do this easily.
Little Pim was recently mentioned in an article on the Huffington Post about the benefits of introducing young children to a second language.
“Among toddlers as young as 2 years, bilingual youngsters outscored their monolingual counterparts in the area known as “executive functioning.” To toddlers, this comes down to sorting shapes, but for older kids and adults, executive functioning includes important mental tasks such as planning, strategizing, organizing and goal-setting.”
Here at Little Pim, we’re well versed in the benefits of foreign language learning. We know just how important it is for a child’s early development, the advantages multilinguals have in reading, math and social skills, and how it improves memory overall. Continue reading “The benefits of bilingualism – Dr Bialystok”
Roxana of SpanglishBaby.com has posted her second Video Blog (Vlog) about language learning with Little Pim. If you’re new to this Vlog series, Roxana is using Little Pim to introduce French to her daughter Vanessa, four years old, who is already bilingual in Spanish and English. Roxana has been doing Skype interviews with me to get tips on making it fun for her daughter to learn French and learning about resources for her to use as a parent who is not fluent in the language her daughter is learning.
This week she talks about some of the hurdles she is facing in trying to incorporate French into their daily routine. It’s not as easy as she thought it would be! At the end of the video Roxana’s daughter and I sign a French song together so be sure to watch the whole video. Vanessa est adorable!
Are you teaching your child a second or third language?
While in Cambridge, I also had the pleasure of meeting the dynamic and charming Dr. Naomi Steiner, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Steiner wrote the most thorough, practical book I have found about raising bilingual kids (7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child). The book shows that every child can learn a second language – whether or not their parents speak the language – and offers step by step approaches for families.
As a mother myself raising bilingual children, we had so much to talk about! Dr. Steiner’s children speak German, French and English — and her teenage daughter started Chinese this fall! I am so happy Dr. Steiner is helping to advance the pediatric field’s understanding of the ways speaking two languages benefits young children’s brain development and she will be making important contributions in this fields. Keep an eye out for her.
Julia & Dr. Steiner
Boston has a very international population, which is why it isn’t that surprising that our soon to be Brazilian distributor calls this city home. This is Heloisa Fitzgerald, a talented and passionate fellow mom-preneur I met through Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO).
Heloisa is launching “Little Pim Brazil” in 2011. Little Pim is already distributed in 6 countries outside the U.S. and we are very excited that Heloisa, a native of Brazil who is raising her own two daughters bilingual in Portugese and English, is going to introduce the Little Pim method to English learning tots in Brazil. Magnifico!
Julia and Heloisa
This was a whirlwind 24-hour trip that left me charmed by Cambridge, energized by the people I met, and looking forward to going back for more Little Pim language fun events. Next time I’ll bring my boys, but may not be able to get beyond Curious George & Friends if I do…
Little Pim was featured on the Today Show on Wednesday, September 29th. The segment – “Kids Getting Ahead With Spanish, Mandarin” – was part of NBC’s Education Nation week of programming.
The demand for second language programs for children has been steadily increasing as parents learn about the developmental and employment advantages to growing up bilingual.
The segment featured parents and experts (including Little Pim founder, Julia Pimsleur Levine) who emphasized the importance of starting kids early on learning a second or third language.
Daniella Montalto of the NYU Institute of Learning and Academic Achievement expanded on the cognitive benefits to early second language acquisition, “Academically, children who have learned a second language tend to be better readers and writers…they also score higher on IQ tests.”
Clips of Little Pim Mandarin, Spanish, and French were shown in the segment as well: “.. language DVDs, like Little Pim, [are] teaching little ones languages like Spanish, Mandarin and French.”
We hope you were able to tune in! If not, enjoy the clip below. A big thank you to the Today Show for including us!