EDUCATION

Lil’Ollo — introducing a second language to young children

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Last week we were camping at the seaside, and the kids and I were playing around with some products the recently launched company Lil’Ollo had sent us: beautifully designed games, posters and flash cards, all aimed at introducing a second language to children at a young age and in a playful, creative and imaginative way. We had a lot of fun, but it was a bit shocking for me to see how rusty Ava and especially Casper’s English had become. We really will have to make more of an effort to practise the language with them!

Lil'Ollo second language

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

All of our children attended one year at the British school here in Amsterdam before going into the regular Dutch education system at the age of four. (I have written more about this here.) We felt it was a great way to kick-start their English. Quite handy, we thought, with so many friends living all over the world! But apparently, introducing a foreign language to children has other benefits. I was listening to the car radio earlier this week and following an interesting conversation about multilingualism. According to research, children who are regularly exposed to a foreign language show signs of having better problem-solving skills. They are also more creative, and on top of that, more emphatic!

Switching between languages (or just being spoken to in another language) strengthens the brain. It stimulates its executive functions, improves cognitive skills and creative thinking. (As a bonus, it helps to shield against certain negative impacts of dementia in old age!) Also, if a child wants to fully understand a foreign speaking person, he or she will have to relate to that person. Taking the speaker’s perspective and reading his/her mimics and body language has a direct and positive effect on social and communication skills and the development of empathy. I had no clue!

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

So, it’s safe to say, introducing a second language to children can be a good idea. It is also a good idea to start foreign language development as early as possible. Because the younger the child is, the easier it is to pick up another language. They are more receptive to pronunciation and less prone to translate to their mother tongue first. From the age of 6 months, children can recognise and learn up to five different languages!

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Back to the cute collections of Lil’Ollo. Currently, their bilingual range is available in English in combination with Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, German, Welsh and Polish, with many more languages in the works! The products are decorated with adorable, engaging characters and designed to support the discovery of language through play. We had so much fun with the colouring-in pages and practising numbers, shapes, colours and animals. I love how the products invite parents and their children to invent all kinds of different games to play together. The best part was playing memory — excitement all along. Look at Ava’s face in the photos above!

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Introducing a second language to children with Lil'Ollo

Lil’Ollo products are clever, great fun, and all cards come in sweet little drawstring bags, making them the perfect little present.

xxx Esther

PS This post has been sponsored by Lil’Ollo, a new member of our shopping portal and a company we’re proud to represent! All photos, text and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support Babyccino!


SHARE

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment