How to Teach Your Kids to Be Multilingual

For those of you who know me, its no surprise- the only reason I am a Chic Traveling Mama is because my hubby and I have an “unplanned blessing” if you will. In other words, we got pregnant as we were ring shopping and planning our future accordingly! And if you know me at all, I am not much for planning anyhow! So here we are, and we couldn’t be happier. Needless to say, there were a few things I wanted to do before having kiddos. One, was graduating college (it was a doozy, but we made it!) and the other was to learn how to speak Italian. Now, I am a full-blooded Italian woman, and damn proud of it! My hubby is also Italian (only partial-his only major flaw, but I’ll let it go), so we wanted to learn before having our kids so we could teach them by simply speaking it to them from the beginning. So now that Stella is 7 months old, I can safely say, not happening!

Since graduating college last month, I have become obsessed with our used book store in town. I think I am actually excited that I can read something that isn’t required of me! A couple weeks ago in the foreign language section, I came across a Look and Learn Italian Picture Dictionary by McGraw Hill. Its too cute! Stella and I sit and read the picture words that are used in a sentence right below it, and she loves it! I love it too because simultaneously, I am learning with her. This is a book that doesn’t really teach pronunciation, but after living in Italy for several months years ago, I know how to read Italian (for instance i’s are pronounced ee). This book probably won’t allow you to speak fluently after reading through it, but its a great start for beginners like the kiddos, or if you are planning a trip overseas. If anything, you will be familiar with A LOT of words, which in turn will help you better understand.

Because getting this started is so important to our famiglia (see, I am learning already!), I am investing in a label maker. With this label maker I will label things around our home in Italian for her. When she begins to walk, we will teach her these words again by her interacting with them. I think this will really get this little daygo talking!

Until we can make time and money for real Italian lessons, this will work for now, and quite effectively I might add. So along with the Baby Signs she is already learning (hey, before she can speak Italiano, she needs to learn to communicate!), this will be her third language! At this point, we are not sure which one she will take to the most, but if at thirteen she is still referring to her dad by putting her hand on her forehead, I will post a blog about information language overload! Stay tuned!

With the picture dictionary we can be as diligent as we want about teaching/learning so it does not feel like such a commitment, and at around $10, it sure beats Rosetta Stone! I’m glad that we are teaching Stella her heritage and one day she will be a person that is very tolerant of other cultures. And of course, this will put Stella on her way to being one cultured, smart and chic traveling Mama!

You can go to Amazon and get yours!

About Rana Mancini Cavanaugh

Rana is a Chic Mama dedicated to helping other Mama's live a fuller, happier, healthier life through this blog. She is proud to announce she just finished an eBook on how to travel with kids and is finishing up her first novel. She is a happy wife to her sweetheart since the fourth grade and Mama to a lovely little girl. Happy Travels! xo

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