September, 2011

Sep 11

Benefits of Bilingualism

This Sunday, September 25th, I’ll be making a presentation at the Mexican Consulate’s stand, during the Word On The Street book fair in Toronto. The presentation will be held at 11 am at Stand KSE, close to where Queen’s Park E. intersects Wellesley St. We’ll be giving free download cards to participating kids.

For those who would like more information, here is a synopsis of my presentation with links.

In this world of instant access to everything, where one can have global meetings over skype, in real time, it’s obvious that knowing more than one language is the key to many more opportunities.

My first interest in bilingualism came with my kids’ involvement in the French Immersion programmes in Toronto. I have many strong opinions about second language learning. It is every child’s right to learn a second language. Second language learning should not be only for the elite, or for compliant kids. All kids can learn but many kids learn in different ways.

Here are a few suggestions of resources I have personally tried. The ideas listed here relate to learning Spanish as a second language, but these ideas could be taken and used for the learning of any other second language.

Using Music Resources to Learn

Of course I am biased here. I have spent over 20 years writing and producing songs to teach second languages. You will find many resources to help you on our website. Even the book buyer of Mexico’s largest bookstore chain learned to speak English by using our Bilingual Songs.

Online Learning

We are the North American representatives for Linguascope, the well known online website teaching foreign languages through interactive games. The family of Linguascope websites (for classrooms) is extremely popular. You can find more info about Linguascope here:

We also have our developed own online website, EduActive Learning which allows subscribers to have online access to all of our songs, 24 hours a day. You can visit EduActive Learning and sign up for a seven day free trial membership here

Pen Pals (For Youth and Adults)

Teachers may want to access our Pen Pal Forum, where classes exchange letters with classes around the world. Unfortunately, because of online safety, we offer this service only to classroom teachers for their classrooms.

However, for adults, I recommend the free services offered by through the “Tandem Program” set up by Ruhr University in Germany. Participants speak their mother tongue with their partner 50% of the time and the new language that they wish to acquire 50% of the time. I participated in this program myself and found it very useful. You can sign up here

Volunteerism and Travel

When my daughter was in her early teens she participated in a group travelling from Montreal, to do volunteer work in Cuba. Since that time ArocoopéraAction International has really grown and now offers opportunities for adults as well in Cuba, Costa Rica and Peru.

Learning Spanish in Mexico

Often the best way to learn another language is to totally immerse oneself. I am absolutely in love with this Bed and Breakfast in San Miguel.

Maricela, the hostess,¬† is a fabulous cook. Breakfast and the main meal of the day, la comida, is served to all guests 6 days of the week. During my stays at Maricela’s place, I met many guests on extended stays who were studying Spanish during the daytime.

Visiting Spain

Although you will be speaking English when you participate in Pueblo Inglés, here is an opportunity to stay in a 5 Star Resort (Spain) for free for an entire week, chatting to Spaniards. During my week, each anglophone was paired with a Spanish teacher being sponsored by the local Board of Education. You can learn more about Pueblo Inglés here:

Sep 11

Come Visit Us at Word on the Street (in Toronto)

Word on the Street Crowd

Family Fun, Word on the Street

This Sunday, September 25th,¬† we’ll be exhibiting at Word on the Street (an enormous book fair held outdoors). Word on the Street is now celebrated in many locations across Canada but in Toronto, you’ll find this outdoor event in Queen’s Park. I will be giving a half-hour workshop at the Mexican Consulate’s booth starting at 11 am (location: stand KSE, on Queen’s Park E. by Wellesley). The workshop will include fun, action-packed, bilingual songs with an opportunity for participating kids to win free downloads. As well, Sara Jordan Publishing will display our award-winning CDs and books. (location: stand¬† KS27, which is on Wellesley close to Queen’s Park E.). There will be lots of specials. We hope you plan to enjoy the sunny day and come down to Queen’s Park this Sunday. See you there!