|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Research shows that the best time for learning a different language is in the pre school years when the areas of a child’s brain devoted to learning language are at their most active. From the age of just six months old babies can vocalise up to 70 sounds, but they start to discard the sounds that are not heard in their normal environment. Exposure to the different sounds and cadences of foreign language will help pave the way for the learning of a second language for a child. (Kouluk 1996). This is very apparent if we look to the way the languages are taught in Swedish preschool setting where it is perfectly normal for children as young as three years old to be fluent in several languages.
- Your voice and backing tracks
- Lyrics cards for the parents
- Up to six weeks
How it works
Mums will learn to sing along to Twinkle Twinkle little star using four different languages, French, German, Spanish and Italian. The versions are not literal translations of our version of Twinkle Twinkle as these would not have been easy songs to sing nor woudl they be authentic to the country of origin. Therefore we have used the most commonly sung and simple version we can find for each country.
What to do in the class
Give out the prompt cards and read through them a couple of times with the parents. Put on the music and sing-along together swaying along to the beat with their babies and using the normal actions for the song. Don’t pretend to be a language expert, just present it as a fun activity where babies and children enjoy new sounds and we all learn together, that way the mums will feel more at ease too and less afraid to try.
Adaptations for older/younger children
This activity is also great for walkers and 2 and 2 to 4 classes.