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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review of Little Pim language DVDs

My family was so excited to get the opportunity to watch a review copy of the Little Pim language DVDs. If you are not familiar with the program (and we weren’t prior to this), it is a language learning system designed for children ages 0-6. The DVDs are based on the teaching philosophy of the Pimsleur method of language learning and were developed by Julia Pimsleur Levine, who is the daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur. I was really excited to learn that she developed these DVDs based on her own childhood. She grew up speaking French fluently, and was in a bilingual home. She used her own experiences and leading neurological and linguistic research to develop these DVDs. We are not a bilingual family, but I was super excited to check this out for my son who is 3 years old. We have family friends who are native Spanish speakers, so he has been “slightly” exposed to the language , but not beyond my parroting of basic conversational cues.

Wesley loved the DVD the moment he saw it. The main character is a cute little panda bear (Little Pim) and each 5 minute lesson is introduced and ended with a short cartoon including him. I think that was my son’s favorite part. My youngest son is 8 months old, and he watched the whole DVD with a mission for finding any and all babies on the TV screen. When he was successful, he giggled.

The DVD we received to review was “Wake up Smiling,” the 2nd DVD in a 3 DVD set. I really liked the fact that it was set up in an easy to follow way, and was divided into sections that you could watch one at a time, or as part of the whole. These and the other online tools and activities act as an immersion experience when you use them as recommended with your child. By the time we had watched the DVD for the third go-round; my son was saying some of the words back to me. Yay!

The DVD is very basic, usable, and applicable to my kid’s life. That makes it really stand out in my mind. The lessons provided an opportunity to review and “say back” the words and phrases just covered. The English subtitle option made it so much more comfortable to learn the DVD with him. The only thing that bugged me is that you could not see people saying the words, so I was left wondering about the ends of words unless I saw the word in print. Not a big deal, except when you think about how kids learn when they are really little (like my babbling 8 month old).

My feel about the whole approach is that it gives you some great tools if your desire is to truly give your child a bilingual upbringing. There are many activities to reinforce the words that are taught, and to keep the vocabulary and concepts on the tip of your brain. You just have to commit to using them. This is not an approach that will make your child instantly speak another language but it is a cool, relevant, and applicable way to teach new language skills. If you put in the time, I could see it really working. Check it out for yourself at http://www.littlepim.com

By guest contributor: Jackie

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