Best Way to Teach Tots a Foreign Language (2008)

Bilingual Birdies

Many of us took language classes in high school, but studies show that its best to learn a foreign tongue at a younger age. Sarah Farzams Bilingual Birdies program has the right idea. Since November 2006, BB has taught some 250 children how to speak Spanish, Hebrew, or French. A typical class includes children from six months to five years old who learn through dancing, puppets, and games. Music is important, too, as the kids participate in chants, rhymes, and raps as well as foreign childrens songs and some familiar standards in translation (Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald). So far, the Childrens Aid Society, the Jewish Community Project Downtown and the Y of Washington Heights have opened their doors to the programand its easy to see why, since BB also teaches important lessons about making friends and eating fruits, which many of us adults could learn a thing or two about.

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