Foreign Languages
Nursery Age 0 Curriculum Suggestions
by Katrina Lybbert

Foreign Languages Overview

You may think that teaching a foreign language should be reserved for older children, but now is the time to introduce your baby to other languages.  Researchers have found that babies, before 6 months of age, have the ability to hear and distinguish between all the sound of every human language.  Around 6 months of age they begin to lose this ability as they learn their native tongue.  If they are exposed to the sounds of different languages at a very early age, those sounds will be imprinted in their brain cells and they will have an easier time learning those languages when they are older.  They may even be able to speak without an accent!

As I have a love of languages, and most certainly wish for my children to learn at least one second language, this research is very exciting to me.  I have some wonderful CD's that are specifically for babies to gain these language skills.  One of the CDs is Sound Beginnings: A Language Development Program.  It contains 15- minute segments in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, English, Russian and Hebrew.  You can read more info at the Sound Beginnings web site.

The other wonderful CDs are the Baby's First Steps series from Living Language for Newborn to 2 years.  These CDs come with a book, by Erika Levy, that explains baby language development.  There are 3 different languages available:

Baby's First Steps in French
Baby's First Steps in Spanish
Baby's First Steps in Italian

I hope you will consider adding foreign languages to your baby's curriculum.  You may find CDs other than the ones I have listed above.  Even just listening to music sung in a different language daily will help your baby develop foreign language skills.

If you can speak a second language, I would encourage you to speak to your baby often in the second language.  I think being bilingual or even multilingual in today's world will be very useful for our children.





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