I’ve had a half-hearted desire to learn Spanish for some time.

Don’t get the mistaken impression from that that I have actually done anything beyond thinking (and maybe once or twice saying out loud), “Hmm. I should learn Spanish. That might be useful.”

Nope. I have plenty of excuses: the reading piles, the work piles, the laundry piles, the need for sleep…

It should come as no surprise, then, that I haven’t pursued that whole idea of having my kids learn another language either.

But now we have a pope (who I love already) who doesn’t speak English. In fact, he speaks Spanish.

little pim dvd1

Guess that makes getting a review copy of a Spanish DVD from Little Pim even better, huh?

Well, yes. It’s been great. In fact, it’s been my two-year-old mancub’s alternative of choice for his other favorite show.

The folks at Little Pim take this “teach kids other languages” thing pretty seriously, judging from their website. Eleven different languages, and then I found this as I was perusing the parent’s section of the website:

We live in an increasingly global world – one where bilingualism carries many benefits. With Little Pim, you can help your child stay ahead of the curve from an early age. The most current scientific research has shown that babies, toddlers and preschoolers are uniquely equipped to learn one or more languages with ease.

Young children who learn a language before the age of five tend to have superior reading, writing, analytical and social skills, as well as more extensive vocabularies than their monolingual peers, according to multiple studies.

While Little Pim products are scientifically-based and painstakingly researched, they also have a very practical purpose: to teach children another language. I appreciate that. They’re pretty and nice, but they’re also out to accomplish their goal well. I especially appreciated this tidbit I found:

Pimsleur Levine explains her motivation for creating the Little Pim series: “When my first son was born, I wanted him to have the same gift I received from my parents: learning a second language from an early age. I searched for DVDs to reinforce the French I was teaching him at home, but I couldn’t find any age-appropriate, high-quality products. I wanted him to watch something that was entertaining, educational and beautifully made. Something I would want to watch with him. I created Little Pim for my son, but also to give families everywhere an easy and fun way to introduce children to the basic building blocks of a foreign language, even if the parents themselves don’t speak the second language.”

The DVD we’ve been obsessively watching enjoying is the fifth in the Spanish series: “happy, sad, and silly.” It’s well-done and my kids love it. All of them will sit and watch it, the two-year-old randomly jumping around and the five-year-old mispronouncing everything as the eight-year-old corrects her with a different set of mispronunciations.

I have to say, after reading the parent guide, that maybe my approach is terrible isn’t the best. I’ve often turned it on and left one or more of them to watch it. (Don’t judge me.) In order to “model the behavior” for my kids, I need to watch it with them, which I’ll be doing going forward. I think maybe there’s a chance that I’ll be learning some useful Spanish phrases beyond what Dora has taught me over the years…

There’s a subtitles option (which my eight-year-old has turned on) and there’s also a companion guide and script for each DVD. So it shouldn’t be TOOOO hard for me to watch it with my kids.

Overall, I highly recommend it. I’ll be checking out the other Spanish DVDs and the app they’ve just released.

I mean, who knows? I may just put that high school Spanish to good use!