How babies are learning a second language

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In addition to teaching the ABC's and 123's some parents are teaching their babies Spanish and French!

"It's important to us that our kids are exposed to different languages," said parent Rebecca Mixon.

One-year-old Evie and three-year-old Lindon are learning Spanish!

"It's as good for our older one to learn a different language as it is the younger one to learn English," said Mixon.

They're using DVD's called "Little PIM" through the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library.  The library also has software called "Mango" that can be used by children and adults.

"Russian, Italian, Spanish, German and French," said CCJPL assistant Director David Eckert.

Eckert said it's important to teach children a second language while they're young.

"When they're that young they can map the sounds of the language in their brain," said Eckert.

Eckert said when children get older it is harder to learn the language.

"It's not that you can't learn a language.  You can learn a language when you're 90!  It will be so much harder for you to get the accent," said Eckert.

"He sees the images that are on there and talks and learns the English words and the Spanish ones," said Mixon.

Both of the Mixon children are picking up a second language.

"If you watch our youngest child who is 20 months she's like a sponge for languages right now and she repeats every word that you say," said Mixon.

Mixon said she believes exposure to these other languages will help her children in the long run.

"If you introduce her to other languages and repeat those then she will learn those along with the English that she's learning," said Mixon.

"Just to know another language is going to make your children more marketable really," said Eckert.

More and more our children are growing up in a global world where people are often speaking more than one language.

The Mango software is available at the library or through the library's website.  It is free to use as long as you have a library card.

©2010 KAIT  All rights reserved.