When I was pregnant, I had all kinds of big ideas about how I would raise our son. One of them was to teach him Spanish as a baby. Nevermind the fact that I am not fluent in Spanish, nor is anyone in our household. I did very well in my college Spanish classes and knew enough to flub my way through a brief stint working Spring Break promotions in Mexico, so I figured I could at least pass on the basics like numbers, colors and how to ask for a beer. I got myself an app and was diligently brushing up on my Spanish language skills up until his birth, when my world changed and I realized it was going to be hard enough just teaching him basic English. I dialed back my ambition just a little and decided Spanish could wait.
Now that he’s got a good hold of speaking in full sentences, I felt he was finally ready to give another language a try. We’ve had good luck with reading programs on the computer, so DinoLingo seemed like a good option for us. They actually have way more languages than just Spanish to choose from, but I figured it would be good to stick to something I was a little familiar with, even though I was very tempted to choose Japanese!
DinoLingo is a language learning program for kids that uses the “total immersion” method, so instead of drilling and memorization, children learn through watching videos, listening to songs and playing games. They use animated characters with high-pitched voices, which has been proven to help children relate better and pay attention to what is being spoken. Subtitles are provided to help parents follow along. And of course, there are plenty of dinosaurs and surprises along the way!
My son is three and very game-motivated, so we initially skipped over the lessons and videos and jumped right into the games. At first I thought it was odd there weren’t translations along with the Spanish words, but I get it now. Total immersion. We were able to easily figure out how to play most of the games and what the words meant.
He enjoyed playing the matching game and earning dinosaurs. We explored around the lessons, videos and songs, but he always went back to the games. He found the videos interesting, but didn’t quite understand why they didn’t DO anything and spent most of the time clicking around the screen. I think as he gets older he’ll be more into the videos and songs, but right now he is more enamoured with what happens when he clicks the mouse.
After testing it out for a couple weeks, DinoLingo has become part of our daily routine. He has two other reading programs he likes to do, and then we “play Spanish.” All of these programs are really just an excuse to play on mommy’s computer, but I love that he is learning any way I can get him to do it.
DinoLingo.com offers 6 month, 1 year and 2 year plans, and they all come with a 7-day refund policy so there’s no risk to try it out. And they’re currently having a 15% off sale if you use the promo code WINTER.