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Parent Information Guide
Thank you for choosing Lango to start your language learning adventure. Your child will see benefits from this program throughout their lives and you can maximize those benefits by following our handy language learning tips.
Our goal is not to overwhelm you, but to provide you with clear recommendations for reinforcing instruction at home. As always, we hope you’ll send along your questions, concerns, and observations about our classes, as we seek to provide the best experience possible for your children.
Tip #1: More language in = more language out
The more your kids hear the language the more they will be able to pronounce and understand. We encourage you to find as many ways to hear the new language as possible, books, cds, internet games, DVDs, friends who speak the language, babysitters who speak the language, restaurants where language is spoken, etc. Be creative (limit TV, computer and DVDs to no more than 20 minutes for preschoolers). Interaction with real people is always better than electronics. You can learn together.
Tip #2: Don’t ask for translation, kids understand first, speak second
The most common mistake to ‘test’ your child’s learning is to say, “How do you say ____ in Spanish/French or Chinese.” Inevitably the child will respond, “I don’t know” or “I forgot.” Does this mean they aren’t learning the language? NO!!! We don’t teach kids how to translate – we operate in an immersion environment where we speak ONLY the language we are studying, which means that if we ask, “Donde esta tu nariz?” The kids will point to their noses, indicating that they understand. They understand many words, but they may not be able to say them or translate them to English just yet. That will come later.
Tip #3: Keep it fun!
Games, songs, sports, cooking, anything fun is the best way to practice. Tape words in the new language throughout the house. Try taking a walk and spotting new vocabulary words. You never want boredom or frustration. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t catch on immediately or makes mistakes. It took them years to learn English, didn’t it? Practice makes perfect!
Tip #4: Continue the learning at home!!
Anything you can do at home to continue the language is great. I am a very busy mom and I try to do at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of French a day with my son. Some days we do lots of French, some days none, but we always read at least 1 book. You can develop your own routine as you wish. I strongly encourage you to travel to other countries if possible. A trip to Mexico is very affordable (just a tank of gas & some food if you camp). France and China are more difficult, but there is Camp Lango every summer.
Language learning is a process, much like learning a musical instrument. It can take years to learn a language, but your child’s brain is working every minute of it!
At-Home Reinforcement Ideas
Listening to this CD at home, in the car, and singing the songs while you are out of the house are great ways to keep your children learning more and more (there is a bilingual lyrics booklet in the inner sleeve)!
Spanish Online Resources
Free storytime at Smiley Library Saturdays 10:15-10:45am.
French Online Resources
Cute preschool site with games and songs
Traditional French nursery rhymes and songs
Bingo, Matching & other games hello-world.com
ALL 3 LANGUAGES: Bingo, Matching & other games hello-world.com
Free Mandarin storytime at Smiley Library Tuesdays 6-6:30pm.
Games and pronunciation for kids & adults who can read. digitaldialects.com
Sign up for a daily Chinese phrase: Daily Brief
Learn about Moon Festival.
We recommend Monkey King Chinese Word Cards for at-home use. They can be found at Chinesemall.com
Fun Activities for Your Mandarin Student!
Videos and Songs!
This is a video about a little toy doll, which is a traditional Chinese song, but the visuals
are from Mulan.
Traditional song for the Chinese New Year sung by four kids! Subtitles are in pinyin and
More fun Mandarin and English nursery rhymes to sing along to!
On this youtube channel you can find a lot of fun, animated stories read by native
speakers of Mandarin!
This is China’s most popular children’s cartoon! It might be interesting for your student
to see what their peers in China are watching!
This is another very fun, popular Mandarin cartoon about a robotic cat. There are many
episodes that you can find on youtube – this is the first episode.
Another cute cartoon about animals cooking traditional Chinese food from CCTV, the
predominant state television broadcaster in mainland China.
Lots of fun stories, some from China and some popular in America, read by native
speakers in Mandarin. You can download these stories, save them as MP3s, and read along
as you listen in either Mandarin or English.
Good games for older students to review with! One of the best ones is a color game,
which is modeled after Simon Says.
This game helps students practice the four tones, and links words with pictures too! A
great one to help solidify this important aspect of learning the Mandarin language.
This site is more for parents – you can learn some interesting things here about Chinese
culture that can be shared with your student. There are also a couple of fun games and
interesting pictures, lots of information about the culture of China, a weekly cartoon in
Mandarin for kids, and a collection of fun songs and nursery rhymes.
A website by the BBC on learning Chinese! Offers free lessons and courses, links to
Chinese news, TV, and radio, a pronunciation guide, and more!
Resources for Learning at Home!
Books and DVDs for children in Mandarin – they have Chinese classics, western classics,
bilingual books, books with pinyin, and simplified mandarin books!
Another website where you can find Mandarin books and CDs available for purchase!
On Amazon.com you can purchase Sesame Street and Elmo videos in Mandarin!
Apps for Your Phone or Touchpad!
Rye Studios offers an app called “Mulan” that reads an animated story about this classic
Disney character in either English or Mandarin. There is text at the bottom of the story
pages to read along to!
“MyEChinese” offers an app that has a number of songs in Mandarin that your student
can learn and sing along to.
“Blighty Studio” has fun app about monkeys that includes places to play games, read a
very interactive story, and find access to more of their books. The same organization
offers an identical app that focuses on nature stories instead of those about monkeys,
depending on your student’s interests.
“ddChinese” allows students to study and practice Mandarin vocabulary with flashcards on
“CatchMe! P1S” has a couple of different apps on various topics that encourage your
student to listen to and begin to read Chinese characters.
“Finger Books” offers an app on “Legend of the White Snake,” which is a traditional
Chinese story about a maiden and a snake. You can have the app read the story for you
in English or Mandarin, you can read along for yourself, and you can also record yourself
reading the story and email to family to show your student’s progress.
BILINGUAL PARENTING SUPPORT:
Bilingual Parenting in a Foreign Language Check out the listing of Frequently Asked Questions, resources, feedback from parents and much more. humanities.byu.edu/bilingua/
Bilingual Families Connect Emily, the founder of this website is raising her children in her second language (Spanish)! Check out the resources and join the forum. www.bilingualfamiliesconnect.com
BUC by Non-Native Speakers Bernd Klein and his wife Karola, both native Germans, are raising their children in German and English using the OPOL method. www.bklein.de/buc/buc_non_native.php
Bilingualisme (Non-Native French) The founders of this website are raising their children in French even though both were raised as monolingual English speakers. Wonderful tips, suggestions, advice and personal experiences. bilingue.shearer.org
Bilingual Wiki This site is growing quickly and has quite a bit of information. Check out the link titled, “Teaching Yourself and Your Child a Second Language” for tips and support in raising a child in a non-native language. www.bilingualwiki.com
Activities, articles and resources for parents raising children to speak multiple languages. Multilingualliving.com