Kids who grow up in families that speak more than one language at home are incredibly lucky. I struggled with high-school French but hit my stride learning German. That was many years ago and I’ve often thought that when I have the time, I’ll brush up my conversational German.
When I have time?! I can hear parents everywhere clutching their sides, laughing. So perhaps I should build German into my family’s daily routine. The kids can learn something new and I’ll be one step ahead. I think Little Pim is the answer.
Little Pim: Fun with Languages is a foreign language program aimed at kids from birth through five years old. There are many languages to choose from including Spanish, French, Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, English, Arabic, German and Russian.
The program is available in multiple formats – DVDs, flashcards, books, music and iPhone and iPad apps so that you really can immerse yourself in learning opportunities. The emphasis is on fun and the program offers enough bells and whistles to satisfy the younger generation.
Little Pim, characterised by a very cute panda bear, uses what the creators call the ‘Entertainment Immersion Method‘ to teach language. Basically, Little Pim engages a child’s natural love of play and learning through repetition. Everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and playing, are used to introduce words and phrases typically acquired in a toddler’s primary language. The videos include a combination of live action and animation, broken into short blocks to retain even the littlest kid’s attention.
Little Pim is available online in Australia through Foreign Language Bookshop. Prices begin at $26.99 for CDs and range up to $169.99 for full kits. Note that you can trial Little Pim, in the language of your choice, for free via the website. I undertook fifteen minutes of German, all about sleeping and can happily report that I learned a few new phrases. In addition, Little Pim apps such as Little Pim Word Bag and Talking Colouring Book are free and available via iTunes.