Matthew and I both grew up in culturally diverse families and environments, but we both only speak one language. I remember learning some Tagalog (one of the main languages in the Philippines) when I was younger but nothing progressed as I grew up and of course nothing stuck. I’ve tried several times to learn a second language but I always struggle and end up throwing in the towel. Despite our struggle to learn a second language as adults, we still strive to teach our children a second language so they can grow up with the advantages of being bilingual, let me tell you how.
A very obvious reason we want our kids to grow up learning more than English is the scientifically proven “leg up” in cognitive growth they will obtain by learning and speaking two languages. I’ve illustrated a few specifics on that cognitive growth from being exposed to a second language:
- Boost creativity
- Enhance multi tasking
- Promote cultural awareness
- Become an effective communicator
So we made it the goal to help our children become bilingual, and we’ve chosen Spanish to be the language we teach them. With neither of us speaking Spanish ourselves you may ask, how are we going to do so? We’ve discovered some amazing tools to help them learn in a fun interactive way where it feels completely organic to them. We started our oldest, Pia, with the Canticos app! Canticos is the #1 bilingual preschool app on the market and we can definitely see why!
Within the first week of introducing Pia to the Canticos app and supported games, books, and puzzles, we’ve seen her recite Spanish words she’s learned all on her own, just randomly! She is constantly asking us to play the “Spanish game” on our phones or laptops and insists on counting in Spanish. One thing that brought us joy was when she was trying to teach her 11 month old sister that she will be turning “Uno” next month.
We especially loved the hybrid method of learning that Canticos offers. Pia can apply what is taught on the app, with flashcards (her favorite), puzzles, and books! She has been using both the flashcards and the app simultaneously when learning shapes and colors to help her grasp a more visual and tangible balance. These flashcards are also amazing for on the road learning. As non Spanish speaking parents, the app helps us to learn the pronunciation so that we can help her correctly say the words.
As South Florida residents, the road to learning Spanish will help Pia and Penelope really thrive in their environment. With our ever-growing Hispanic market, lots of schools are treating Spanish as a core subject in the elementary level. In fact, all the preschools I had toured for Pia included Spanish speaking teachers to aid in the development for bilingual children. Growing up in a culturally diverse area, her friends and teachers can all help enhance what she’s learning in the home. By starting her young, she will develop a real foundation in a language that can open lots of opportunity for them, especially in our area.
I’m excited to see how much more Pia will learn from Canticos as she’s already absorbed so much in the first week! If you’d like to follow along our journey and watch her progress, I’ll be documenting it all here.
How many of you grew up bilingual and will you be teaching your kids another language?