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Children's Foreign Language Review:    Baby's First Steps in Spanish (Book & CD)

 
 
 
Foreign Language Game Review: Baby's First Steps in Spanish


Audio CD & Book

By Living Language (a Random House Company)

Our Recommended Age: Best for newborn-2 years (can be used from newborn-6 years)

Our Rating: A+

 

 

Baby's First Steps in Spanish

Baby's First Steps in Spanish (Baby's First Steps)

 

 

 


First Step in Spanish for Babies

Many parents are eager to take advantage of the "window of opportunity" for learning multiple languages. Of course, a second (or third) language can be acquired at any stage of life, but, in light of recent studies on language acquisition, introducing languages in the early years makes sense. "The earlier the better" is the general message we get concerning introducing foreign languages to our children. As Erika Levy, the author of the book in this set, suggests, "the best predictor for successful acquisition of a language is early exposure".

The audio CD in this set entitled Baby's First Steps in Spanish aims to introduce babies to the unique sounds of the Spanish language through rhymes, songs, stories, and dialogues. The focus is on sounds, as this set is based on research proving that the first two years of a baby's life are critical ones for laying a solid foundation for language learning later in life. This CD is designed to help surround young children with the unique sounds of a foreign language—in this case, Spanish. (Other languages are available, see below).

The accompanying 80-page book introduces parents to the basics of language learning, and provides explanations of how children learn languages. "Babies Learn to Talk: Steps in Language Development from Womb to Two" is a chapter that many caregivers will find especially useful, with its tips on how to encourage language skills in young children. Another chapter addresses the question some caregivers have: "Is There Room for Two or More Languages in One Brain?" Most parents will appreciate the fact that lyrics to the CD's songs are provided so that they can follow along (and learn some Spanish at the same time, if appropriate!).

Baby's First Steps in Spanish is designed for children ages newborn to 2 years old. We have expanded our suggested age group, simply because the CD is pleasant enough to play as children grow a little older. 

The songs include some Spanish classics, such as De colores, Los elefantes, and more. Rhymes and dialogue are included as well, so that listeners enjoy a range of sounds in different formats. 

The audio CD is divided into 4 sections, corresponding to different age groups: Newborn to 6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and 18-24 months. Each section features carefully selected sounds that correlate with that particular stage of baby's development. For example, the 6-12 month section (section 2) emphasizes sounds in the Spanish language that are especially apt to become "lost" as babies learn their native language, as this stage is known to be a crucial one for naturally distinguishing the distinct sounds of a non-native language.

The care that went into this CD is evident throughout. Certainly, the songs and dialogue were not randomly slapped together. Rather, they are organized and thoughtfully arranged in the light of important recent studies about language acquisition in the early years of life. 

The CD is pleasant and soothing, and native speakers/singers are used throughout. Using native speakers for foreign language learning products should be a given, but you might be surprised to learn (as we were) that there are products out there that employ non-native speakers! Baby's First Steps in Spanish is certainly not one of them, and is in fact a highly professional, quality, and superior product that most parents will happily welcome as a learning aid for their babies.

 

Our Rating:


 

A+

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Baby's First Steps in Spanish (Baby's First Steps)  

 

Note: Other languages are available:

Baby's First Steps in French (Baby's First Steps)

Baby's First Steps in Italian (Baby's First Steps)

 

Reviewed January 2005
Comments? Email us.

 

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