I grew up in a bi-lingual household - we spoke primarily Polish at home and English was reserved for outside of the home. At the time I thought it was embarrassing and silly to do that, not only for the language aspect but also culturally. My first memory of white bread or mac n' cheese is in high school - when I bought lunch at the cafeteria. My last name was 11 letters long - and had more consonants than vowels. Knowing Polish didn't really gain me very much besides it being a pretty cool party trick in college. That girl was ready to ditch that Polski last name and get herself a good, easy 'Merican one.
As I got "older" I realized just how truly special that experience was. Learning a second language is becoming more of a standard in high school and college but research shows that learning language begins long before that - in the womb and expats with young children can attest to just how quickly their littles can pick up on another language even before their adults do. Already knowing how to switch my brain over to another language helped me learn french quickly in high school, which has also been useful in our travels across Europe on our first babymoon when we visited Spain and Italy.
Although my Polish has become quite rusty over the years, my daughters will definitely be learning all that I can teach them, with supplements from their babcia (grandma).
Truth be told, Polish will probably be a "party trick" for them too. So we've decided that we'd like to put our efforts into also teaching them a language that might be useful to them in the future.
We recently checked out the educational dvd French for Kids: Dedans et Dehors (Inside and Out) from Whistlefritz. We followed along as a silly mouse named Fritzi shows us simple French phrases around the house. The narrator clearly repeats over and over the phrases as well as shows visual cues. I really appreciated that there was no English spoken - it was all immersive. There are appropriate breaks for dancing and songs to help keep kids interested.
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