Last year while I was looking for ways families could help their children learn new languages, I came across a company producing language learning products specifically for children in a multitude of different languages: Dino Lingo!
For families looking to teach young children a new language at home (homeschoolers, children who haven’t yet started school, after school practice, etc.) this is a wonderful option! The program is geared toward younger children who are learning a first foreign language – if that is what you are looking for, then read on!
Dino Lingo Italian
Parents contact me all of the time requesting information and tips for how to teach their children a new language. I often point parents to Dino Lingo since they have such a comprehensive program. As we all know, starting a language when we are young is the best time to start – what better way to help your children take the first steps toward multilingualism! Check out what Dino Lingo has to offer. It might meet your family’s needs for Italian language learning.
Here is a rundown of the Dino Lingo Italian language program:
- First 200 Italian words & phrases: The program focuses on a set of 200 words (used in isolation and in context) and phrases that your child will be able to master by the end of the program. Since the words and phrases are repeated often, children are given the opportunity to work on hearing the intonations and imitating the sounds of the language as much as possible.
- Full Italian immersion: The program is presented in the target language from start to finish, using context to help children associate the words and phrases with their meanings. This is not one of those programs that go back and forth between English and Italian (or providing English translations along the way). This can be important for children learning a language since the associations between the words and their meanings will be made directly (rather than through translation).
- Fun animation: Dino Lingo’s main characters are animated dinosaurs (if you haven’t guessed that by the name). The characters are adorable and the animations are fun, yet they are able to include a lot of repetition so that children have the chance to hear the target words and sentences repeatedly. I like that the context is varied between these fun animations and real-life scenes. It helps to keep children interested and involved in the lesson.
- Italian subtitles: To aid in word pronunciation, recognition and retention, Italian subtitles are included in all of the Dino Lingo DVDs. This is great because it means that exposure to Italian written words takes place as your child learns the language.
- Specifically for children: What really impresses me with the Dino Lingo Italian product is that it is made specifically for young children. It is not an attempt to adapt a language learning program originally created for adults (which rarely works!). Children’s language learning depends on variation, enjoyment, repetition and engagement – all of which Dino Lingo provides.
What Is Included?
- The package includes 5 DVDs (region free) which cover the following categories:
DVD 1 – Let’s Count : Numbers and colors / 35 min.
DVD 2 – Let’s Eat : Food, fruit and vegetables / 35 min.
DVD 3 – Let’s Play : Toys, house items, vehicles / 35 min.
DVD 4 – Let’s Jump : Verbs, actions and nature / 35 min.
DVD 5 – Let’s Learn : Family, body parts, and clothes / 35 min.
Daily conversations, greetings and animals are included in all five DVDs.
- 150 Italian language flash cards for kids
- Italian vocabulary book for kids
- Italian poster set for kids
- World map
- Italian flag
- A dinosaur plush toy
- Dino Lingo coloring book
- Parents’ guide for teaching children a foreign language
- Progress chart and report (Full Home Education sets and Basic sets)
- Italian children’s songs CD
- Free US Shipping or worldwide shipping at a reasonable rate
This is a great online language program for families who want to help introduce their children to the first 200 words of Italian. Bilingual families, who speak Italian at home, could use this product with their young children but it should be noted that children may already know the words and therefore may not learn anything new.
Whether or not your children already know most of the first 200 words of Italian that are included in this program, we encourage you to use it as a jumping off point for additional parent-directed language learning each day. The supplemental materials are ideal for this but it will most likely take some initiative on the parents’ part to make it happen.
The program has a variety of elements to it and follows a regular sequence. The fact that it is full immersion Italian is fantastic since is gives children the chance to learn the language direct context! I also appreciate that it doesn’t overwhelm with full sentences all of a sudden. It does introduce these throughout the program which gives children a chance to get used to using the vocabulary in context.
I would encourage parents to be involved as much as possible while their children learn Italian with this product. This will have the most impact on each child’s language learning. The DVDs on their own are not enough. For the greatest impact, parents will need to help their children use their newly learned vocabulary in as many contexts as possible (grocery store, going for a walk, driving in the car, etc.) and with as many of the included supplemental materials as possible. The picture dictionary and posters will come in handy for this – use them before and after each lesson!
As advertised, this program focuses on the first 200 words in Italian. Parents should not expect that their children will become fluent after using this program! However, children will most likely have a fun time picking up top vocabulary, pronunciation and a general sense of the Italian language (which is the most important part of language learning). We feel that this program is a great way to help children get started with a brand new language!
To learn more about the Italian Dino Lingo products (and to try out a demo), please head to the Dino Lingo Italian language page.
For information about DinoLingo’s other languages, head to the main DinoLingo website page.
We are proud to have Dino Lingo as a Multilingual Living sponsor. Thank you, Dino Lingo for all of your support!