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Author Topic: Teach many languages with LR, how did you do it?  (Read 10120 times)
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« on: August 08, 2012, 09:44:20 AM »

Hello. I have just started using LR with my 9 months old daughter a few days ago. I am using LR to teach her English and simplified Chinese. My husband and I together we can speak 4 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Malay. I hope to teach my daughter to read in these 4 languages as well, plus other languages we don't know such as Spanish, French or others.

I have seen the videos from the winners of the video contests and am awed to see such young children being able to read in 4 or 5 languages. I have lots of questions regarding this and hope parents who have succeeded in teaching their kids many languages using LR could tell me how they did it. Here are my questions:

1. Do you (father and mother) speak and read the languages that you teach your child to read in?

2. Did you teach your child to read all those languages using LR mainly? If so, did you create all the files yourself by using LR's English files as templates? Or are the files from the LR library sufficient to set up a curriculum like the English one?

3. If you are using LR to teach your child to read in a foreign language that you don't know at all, what language is it and are the files in LR library sufficient for teaching that language?

4. What would you advice about teaching a foreign language you don't know yourself to your child? I feel so uneasy because I won't know how to pronounce and won't know whether the pronunciation that came with the file is correct or not, or whether the voice was cut off or not. Also, will your child be able to speak in that language?

5. How do you make your child sit through so many sessions? 4 languages will mean 8 sessions a day, and 5 languages will mean 10 sessions a day! I don't know whether my daughter will be OK with that or not. I am doing 4 sessions a day now but I don't know whether or not she will lose interest if the number of sessions increases.

These are the questions that run through my head when I watched those videos. I really wish my daughter can learn many languages like them as well! I checked the Japanese file but obviously I will have to create my own files if I want a complete curriculum and there are no files in Malay yet.
Please advice and let me know your experience. Thank you.

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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 10:19:54 AM »

Welcome Minmin
. I am not the most qualified person to answer but I am sure they will answer you!
I just wanted to give you some general advice. Your baby is only 9 months old, you have plenty of time. PLENTY of time. I would suggest you start with the languages you know how to speak. Teach your child to speak and read in these 4 languages first as you will develop skills and confidence as you see just how easily they learn and how simple it is to teach. Also once you have these 4 languages covered you will be surprised ( or perhaps not) with how much overlap there is in the languages of the world and how quickly kids learn!
Also you don't need to do 8 sessions a day. You can do one session a day for each language or do a rotation. Say English every morning, and an intensive  month of Chinese, followed by occasional chinnese with intensive focus on Japanese etc. Some mums do a language each day of the week. They teach the language in reading that they are speeking in on that day! There are as many possibilities as there are kids! So just decide what you think you can work with. Also I would recommend a dry erase board to write words down on the go. This way when you need to you can show the same word in two languages.
There generally are not nearly enough files to completely teach a language in the share file section. For the record I would be extremely grateful for any Japanese files you put up to share  yes Most parents here use other programs to supplement the learning such as the wink to learn series and little pim. ( available in the SHOP tab up there ^ )  but yes you can use LR as a template to make a foreign language curriculum ( it is a bit of work! )
I am sure you will get more responses letting you know how parents have taught their kids to read and write and speak in languages they themselves can't speak a word of.  Including me, my kids are learning Spanish and Japanese...much faster than I am  LOL


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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 03:09:50 PM »

Here is a suggestion that I used waaaay back when I was in college to help me memorize things and keep them in my memory until I needed it (finals were over LOL ).  Now I am using a similar idea for keeping track of things while teaching my wee one French using LR.

In the categories tab under advanced play/edit make several new folders.  Name them according to how often you need to review what you are learning.  We have a folder for "every day", "odd # days", "even # days", and each day of the week has its own folder now too.  When we start learning a new category, it goes into the "every day" folder.  Once we get that basically learned, it gets moved to the "odd # day" folder or the "even # day" folder, and we only go over it every other day.  From there it gets moved to a certain day of the week.  So far we haven't moved along far enough to move things to a "monthly" folder, but that is eventually in the plans.

Hmmm, reading back over this seems a bit confusing confused   Maybe someone else is using something similar and can explain better. 

Anyway, this helps me keep track of two languages at a time; one of which I do not speak.  Hopefully, it could help you keep track of four languages!!

Karma to you, Minmin, for teaching 4 languages!!!  I'm always impressed by the ability to speak multiple languages!  I hope to someday get 2 down!

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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 02:32:36 AM »

Hi Minmin,

I'l try to answer your questions based on my non-expert opinion and my short experience (my toddler is only 22 months):

1- We parents speak 5 of the 7 languages we are trying to teach our LO. It is obvious that he is grasping the languages we speak much better and faster.

2- I only used LR for the first year. I downloaded tons of files from the LR library then went through them, I chose the most relevant ones that I usually edit (either putting an HD image, removing cartoony ones, or correcting few spelling mistakes). I also created new categories especially for Arabic as it is our main spoken language. From 15 months or so I started to supplement with other programs like Little Pim, YBCS, Wink to learn, etc. We also read lots of books usually translated in many languages like Eric Carle's board books and DK picture dictionaries).

3- Among the languages we teach (Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese & Japanese), the only one that is sufficiently available via LR is Chinese (other than English of course). This curriculum is excellent and very well adapted to the Chinese language and culture.

4- Teaching languages we don't speak (Japanese and Chinese) is really tough for us. Sometimes, I just try  to repeat the words we learned while we play (totally unsure about the pronunciation). I unfortunately can't go beyond that (i.e. talking in sentences). I can see that my LO may read those words or use them exactly like we practiced them previously (for example, he will name the shapes in Japanese while putting them together using a Montessori triangles kit), but he doesn't speak the language. I think this is a good start. I am still hoping I can learn those languages along with him so we practice them more in the future.

5- Actually we don't do 14 sessions a day smile We just do 3 to 4. We follow this schedule:

Monday & Tuesday:  English AM & Spanish PM
Wed. & Thur: French AM & German PM
Fri, Sat & Sun: Arabic throughout the day
Fri: Japanese LR with Little Pim for about 45 min, then using the words we've just seen during playtime
Sat & Sun: Chinese (same pattern as Japanese)

This schedule is obviously much slower than the 14 sessions one, but it has been just fine for us.

In your case, I think LR Chinese and English will work great. For Malay and Japanese, you can try Wink to Learn DVDs. They are pretty good (we are using them for German and I am planning to order the Japanese version soon isA). Also, you can get 5% discount coupon from your loyalty points here:

Here is a link to the Malay DVD set:

Japanese DVD set:

Good luck!

« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 02:48:13 AM by A_BC » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 05:38:37 AM »

To Mandabplus3,

Hi, thanks for reassuring me that I have plenty of time. Sometimes I just feel that there is so much to do and so little time. Your suggestions are practical and yes, I will see what type of rotation is good for my daughter. Thanks for the suggestion of getting a dry erase board, I think that will work very well when I go out with her and want to show her the words of things she is seeing.

Ok, now that I know that there are generally not enough files to completely teach a language in the share file section, I would like to ask you the following questions. You are teaching Spanish and Japanese to your kids but you don't speak these languages yourself, right? What exactly do you use to teach them in Spanish and Japanese, and how is your schedule like if you don't mind sharing? You suggested Little Pim and Wink to Learn, but I would like to know what are you using, just to hear your experience.

I dont know when I will be able to make Japanese file, but I will upload them when I do.

Thank you.

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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 05:46:44 AM »

To CVmomma,

Thank you for your suggestions. By the way, you said you are teaching your child French using LR, so I guess that is the language you cannot speak, right? Because you mentioned you are teaching 2 languages and one of them you can't speak. Are you teaching your little one French using LR just by using  the downloaded files from LR library? Are you using something else as well?

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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 06:28:11 AM »

Thank you A_BC for such a long a detailed reply. smile  I saw your video and it was amazing. Congratulations upon winning the video contest!!! Thank you for sharing your experience and your schedule. I still have a few questions after reading your reply.

Since you speak 5 languages, do you speak all 5 languages to your child (btw, what does DO stands for?) in one day? Or do you do that according to the schedule as well? Or do you and your husband speak to your child in different languages? For example, you do Arabic and French, then your husband, German and others?
How old was your child when you started using LR because you mentioned that you used it for the first year. So, before your child was 15 months old, you were only using LR to teach all those languages?
You mentioned you downloaded tons of files from the library and edited them. So, for languages besides English and Chinese, you are teaching by categories, right? So, you did not started teaching French, German, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese according to a curriculum like English or Chinese, did you?
According to your experience, which is better, Little Pim or Wink to Learn? I mean which should I get if I want to teach languages I don't speak?
I am trying to read to my daugther everyday, but she doesn't like to sit and look at the book, so I am just reading to her while she is doing something else near me. Do you think that helps? How do you get your child to read together with you?

Thank you and I hope you can be patient with me and help answer these questions.

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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 09:37:13 AM »

No trouble at all. Our schedule is certainly not in a routine yet. we are only just beginning. my kids are older (4,6,8) and only just now have shown any interest in learning languages. All of a sudden they are quite demanding of it!
So my problem is I have one learning spanish and 2 learning Japanese  mad That is their choice..i am running where the enthusiasm is.  yes I figure eventually they will all learn both. I dont speak either language but know enough Japanese to get the pronounciation and writing correct. (high school Japanese..apparently I was a natural...but I dont remember much at all. I am hoping it all comes back quickly) 
Spanish isnt so difficult to teach there are plenty of resourses around. I have printable beginning readers and a couple of dvds (more on the way)
So far we have been using Utube clips every day, for spanish. Short clips with songs and vocabulary words, my son loves them (particularly songs) and is picking up words pretty quickly. He watches movies and TV shows in Spanish also (one or 2 a week, but I suggest using immersion more than that for REAL success) we switch dora to spanish rather than English. He already knows Dora speaks spanish so this was a natural and logical progression for him. He tells me he understands most of what they are saying. (i actually believe him) I am not so much aiming for fluency as a good grounding for further study...but I may change my mind in time.
The Japanese we are doing quite differently. My girls want to learn to read and write it at the same time as learn to speak it. I have ordered Wink to learn and it should arrive tomorrow. Not sure if little pim will suit my girls as they are older but I havnt asked anyone yet either  wub  Anyway we are using Japanese hand writing worksheets from  and the wink to learn Ipad App. Once the girls know the "alphabet" we will rocket through the vocab. as they both learn well from writing things down and using flashcards. I also show them Japanese utube clips when I find them but the supply is limited (or I am limited in my searching capabilities  unsure ) They will have the opportunity to speak it almost daily also as they have Japanese friends at school. That should help emmensly...provided I can convince them its cool to talk to each other in Japanese  LOL
Like I said I am not the most qualified person to answer your questions but.....I am not at all daunted by teaching these two languages that I dont speak. you are at a huge advantage to me! Why are you concerned? now if I were teacing French or Chinese I might be a little daunted...never did understand those two languages at all!
 If possible it would be a great idea if you could get hubby to teach at least one of the languages. Your child would learn it much faster that way, and wouldnt confuse that language while learning. Focus on one language each for a few month ( i reckon 6 months of focussed speaking and written learning) then add in another. Like I said before you have plenty of time  yes By the time your baby goes to school 6-8 languages are totally do able!
My advice, in summary, just start...dont worry about a lack of resouces, wing it until you find what works. Any exposure is a good thing. refine the technique as you go.


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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 11:01:54 PM »

Minmin,  Yes, French is the language that I can not speak.  Mostly we are using LR files from the download library.  We also are using Rosetta Stone, which is pretty advanced for her.  (Great for me!!)  She actually has a good attention span and seems to enjoy the Rosetta Stone, just can't sit through a whole lesson yet.  She does seem to retain things she learns from there though, better than I do smile  Rosetta Stone is veeerrry expensive if you plan to use that though, and I think mostly it is for older kids.

I am eagerly waiting the LR French version!!!

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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 08:21:22 AM »

Thank you Mandabplus3 and CVMomma. Thank you Mandabplus3 for your advices and the link. They are very helpful to me. I wonder what is the next language LR will come up with? I hope they come up with French and other languages soon too.

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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 02:15:24 PM »

Hi Minmin,

Brillkids are currently working on the French & Spanish curricula. They will be available when LR V3 will be ready. I don't have specific date though. Hopefully before the end of the year. I can't wait to have them! That's gonna save a lot of time!

To answer your other questions:

- we speak languages according to the schedule, it's more of a total immersion approach. I speak the 5 languages with my LO ( Little One) & my husband speaks mainly Arabic but uses English occasionally too.

- wink to learn is more of a right brain program while Little Pim is mainly for the left brain (practicing a language in context). I use both of them because they are complementary. But if you want only one program, I would say go for Wink to Learn as it directly teaches reading. You still can practice the language with your daughter and she doesn't necessarily need videos for this. But Little Pim is very helpful when you don't speak the language you are teaching.

- I started using LR when my baby was 4 months.

- keep on reading books to her even if she is not looking (unless you think she really wants you to stop). But if you think she is listening, that's a good sign! She will get used to it and will eventually sit still and even ask for it! Also, try to make it as fun as possible!

- we didn't follow a specific curriculum, sometimes I just use what's available. Sometimes I create new files according to his interests or to the books we read.

Sorry for the typos, I am posting from an iPhone :S

P.S: Thanks for the kind words. Babies are amazing how much and how fast they can learn. Just do your best and believe in them!

« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 02:42:46 PM by A_BC » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2012, 01:14:16 PM »

Thank you so much A_BC for your patience in answering my questions. And answering from an iPhone! Wow, you sure can type really fast on such a small gadget. I can't wait for the French and Spanish curricula to be out too! I hope it will be out real soon.

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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2012, 02:25:51 PM »

We are only doing two languages.  I speak both to my son on alternating days.  He is also 22 months and speaks both languages quite well.  I just wanted to point out that I don't think LR is sufficient for teaching any language although I am sure it can be a great tool and can help get you a step in the right direction particularly if you don't speak the language.  I think it can be great for vocabulary development and hearing the correct pronunciation.  But, since most of little reader is single words, couplets, and very simple sentences the child won't be exposed to a lot of grammar or language structure. 

I am not trying to discourage you from using LR.  As I said I think it can be a good tool, just not a complete program.  Children pick up grammar/syntax easily.  For an adult this is very hard to learn whereas an adult brain can still easily learn new vocabulary.  Pronunciation is really hard for an adult brain so this is where LR can probably be very helpful.  I think the files in the library are good in this respect.  At least for Spanish they seem to be all native speakers, albeit from different countries with different accents.  Not a big deal.  There are some issues with the placement of accent marks. 

Good luck.  I think it is wonderful that your children are learning so many languages!  You are all very inspiring to me.   yes


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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2012, 02:11:42 AM »

Thanks mybabyian, I was wondering what the Spanish files were like in terms of quality. I figured even a poor quality was better than none, but it's great to know they are good!


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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2012, 10:41:42 PM »

Yes,  smile I haven't seen all of them but they seem good.  Some words are different depending what country you are in too, but not a big deal again. 


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