How did we learn as infants? Ask your parents.
I used this technique in teaching beginning German.
We first listened. Then came learning to speak.
Finally, to read. Write too. Thus parents are
our first teachers. The language of love knows
no bounds. We made silly expressions. Sang
songs. Danced. Wiggled and clapped hands.
Smiled. In German classes, we produced sounds
not in the English language. The Umlaut.
We are a trilingual family: German, French, English.
Starting foreign languages when young is so
beneficial. Children learn easily. Our daughter
recorded me singing Brahms Lullaby in German
just as I had sung to our children daily as they
grew up. It was not unusual for my classes to
sing together in German. Daily for the nine
months in the womb, our granddaughter heard
me sing in German. In the hospital at birth, my
daughter asked me to sing the lullaby to comfort
her with familiar sounds and words. Now the
next generation of parents will teach. New
songs. Music is food for the soul. Libraries offer
a wealth of programs for the little ones and their
parents. We often took our children to a story hour.
Music and gestures were involved. One of our
favorite libraries was downtown. The highlight
was the elevator which a man operated by
closing the first gate and then the door. He
asked for floor numbers before the elevator climbed
upstairs to the large room for story hour. Sadly, that
library closed, but we discovered other branch
libraries. We allowed our children to select
their own books in the children’s section. They
checked them out too. Such grownup activities!
We had new books to read aloud. Songs to sing too.
And best of all, libraries became a weekly adventure.