Aug 12

Wired Magazine – Gift Subscription Up for Grabs

My house is filled with magazines of all kinds. Too many actually. But it’s hard to unsubscribe. I love to read them all.

Wired Magazine just sent me a renewal notice. The magazine is full of interesting stuff, especially if you’re intrigued by all things cool and geeky. Wired has offered me a second free subscription when I renew my own. I’d be happy to give this subscription to the first person who emails me (  The recipient of this gift subscription needs to live in the USA and have an American address. Have a good weekend, everyone!

May 12

Train the Brain – Summertime Ways to Boost Learning

According to this interesting article in today’s Toronto Sun, two major influences help to develop the “executive function” of children’s brains. The learning of a second language and the study of music, according to neuro-scientists, can really boost success in the classroom.

While summertime learning may gear down when school is closed, camp can be a great vehicle for picking up a second language. Here is what worked for my family. It ultimately helped in making my children bilingual (and in the case of my daughter, trilingual).

You may want to modify what we did to suit your own child’s needs. My children attended summer camp in Quebec. Eventually, after several summers, my kids were chatting happily and as fluently as the francophone kids. My children spent many happy summers at Camp Jean-Jeune in Vendée. One especially impressive camp was Camp Mariste, which included drama and dance camps (all in French of course). For a listing of all camps in Quebec, please visit

Another opportunity which kick-started my daughter’s interest in Spanish was the Arco International Co-operative Program. This program which originates in Quebec sends supervised groups of students (as well as groups of adults) to do volunteer work in various Latin American countries.

I have lots of opinions re: music lessons too. But will save these for my next blog entry.

Wishing you safe and happy summer plans!

Jul 11

Announcing Our New Titles – Resta cantando and Divide cantando

Creating new resources, especially the composition of new educational songs, is a time consuming project. Luckily, it’s also a labor of love.

After six months of working on Resta cantando and Divide cantando and countless days in the studio adding the final vocal parts, we see the end in sight.

We plan to hold an office party, at the local Mexican restaurant, to celebrate the launch of Resta cantando and Divide cantando (Subtraction and Division songs in Spanish).

You can listen to Practiquemos la resta, the introductory song from Resta cantando below. Are we proud? You bet.

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Apr 11

San Antonio and NSSEA’s ED EXPO

What better place to launch Multiplica cantando and Suma cantando (Addition and Multiplication songs in Spanish) than San Antonio, Texas?

Click to enlarge photo.

Earlier this month, we spent an enjoyable time at NSSEA’s school supply convention and actually being able to see everyone in person was great! Approximately 327 dealer companies were in attendance and our booth seemed to be a meeting place for Hispanics who instantly fell in love with our new titles.

If you ever visit San Antonio, make sure you dine at Mi Tierra. A well known Mexican food restaurant and bakery, Mi Tierra, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is a favorite with the locals.

Apr 11

Celebrate Canada’s Prime Ministers

What better time to teach Canadian history, Canada’s upcoming election and learn all about Canadian Prime Ministers! You can purchase our CD/book kit Prime Ministers of Canada on Special, (HALF PRICE!) right now, and have your students learn Canadian history through songs about all of Canada’s Prime Ministers from from Sir John A. Macdonald to Stephen Harper.

Mar 11

March Break Fun!

During March Break, many of us take off a little extra time for ourselves and our families. One of my own favorite pastimes is to go and jam on weekends with a local band. These guys are great, great players and the cost of admission is really buying something to eat or drink. It’s always nice to see families bringing in their kids to hear some good music. Some of life’s best lessons are not necessarily learned in school. Hope you have fun this month!

Mar 11

Bilingual Songs in China

Bilingual Songs: English-Mandarin, vol. 1As you read this, thousands of English teachers in mainland China are singing The Body / 身体歌 from the album Bilingual Songs: English-Mandarin, vol. 1. It seems that this song has become a big hit in the “Motivating Young Learners” workshops put on by the British Council. We’ve made this song available for all of those teachers (free streaming online) and thought that you might enjoy it too. Here is the link. Enjoy!

Dec 10

Today is Our Anniversary!

Twenty years ago, on Dec. 24th, I was still teaching school. I had the day off, and so did my kids. So with my children in tow, I trudged down to the incorporation office and filed the documents to incorporate my company. The government office was quite empty. Who in their right mind would spend Dec. 24th filing incorporation documents except perhaps a teacher who had prepared everything from a do-it-yourself manual and had no other days off? I remember my son and daughter taking over the deserted office area, pelting rolled up mittons at each other, while the documents were being processed.

We’ve probably sold over a million resources by now used in dozens of countries around the world. It’s a happy anniversary. Sometimes taking a chance is a good thing.

Dec 10

Travelling to Guadalajara and the 2010 Book Fair

This year’s Guadalajara Book Fair was exciting as usual. New partnerships were made and old friendships renewed. It appears that we will soon have very good distribution in Peru, Chile, Mexico and Panama. It was great to also meet many local parents and teachers who live in Guadalajara. Thank you for stopping by our exhibit to say, “Hello” and for letting us know how much your students enjoy our songs.

Before returning home, I spent a few days in Ajijic, one of my favorite places. Ajijic is a very small city, located very close Guadalajara’s airport, on the shores of Lake Chapala. The Los Artistos Bed and Breakfast, where I stayed, proved to be the most beautiful, restful place one could ever imagine.

Young artist, Rosaria, with her hand drawn Christmas cards.

A mural on the wall of Centro Escolar Marcos Castellanos.

Nov 10

ACTFL 2010 Annual Convention – In Boston!

It was a pleasure to meet everyone in Boston, during the ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo. Thank you for visiting our exhibit, coming to see us during the NNELL swap shop and attending Anna’s Linguascope workshop on Saturday afternoon.

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Anna and Sara presenting at ACTFL .