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Learn Italian With Your Children
It's Never Too Early to Learn a Foreign Language!
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"My mother taught us Italian as children by having us read a paragraph from the Il Progresso newspaper every night after dinner."
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• ABC's
• Children's Italian
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• Numbers: 1—20
 
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Children learn foreign languages with ease—they experiment with sounds, words, and phrases when they play, and enjoy hearing songs and stories. Now there are innovative foreign language materials and resources to teach a new generation. Parents can guide their children through interactive, enriching activities to engage and promote the acquisition of introductory foreign words and phases and build language skills.

Make It a Family Activity
Living Language, a division of Random House, has two extremely useful programs - Learn Italian Together: In the Car and Learn Italian Together: In The Kitchen. Easy and amusing, these activity kits for beginners introduce children ages 4-8 to the Italian language through 16 songs, games, and activities centered around car trips or mealtime. Each kit includes a 48-page illustrated activity book that doubles as a scrapbook and a 60-minute bilingual (English/Italian) cassette. There are colored stickers, a two-way glossary, and transcripts and translations. Also included are tips on how to vary the activities for repeated use, making this a program your child won't easily tire of.

Another comprehensive product for children is the Berlitz Kids Italian Language Pack, a starter kit which has a storybook and cassette, a flash card pack, a picture dictionary with 100 Italian words, and a parent's guide to help your child with a foreign language. There's also an "official" certificate for kids to join the Berlitz Kids Italian Club.

Start Italian in Your School
The Council for the Promotion of Italian Language in American Schools (COPILAS), a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting communities around the United States desiring to introduce or broaden the study of Italian language and culture in their public and private schools, colleges and universities, offers a free kit, "Start Italian In Your School!" designed to help parents and students approach school authorities, apply for funding and carry out other related activities necessary to achieving their objectives.

Online Resources
There are language arts resources on the About.com network including feature articles, links to other useful online resources, and hosted live chats. Bulletin board discussions about pertinent issues, a free newsletter, and recommended books and CDs all inform, inspire, and involve children, their families, and schools in the creative and playful pursuit of language learning. With the virtually instant feedback now available using email, children can also find pen pals from around the world to practice their language skills and exchange cultural news.

It's never too early to learn a foreign language, whether it's nursery rhymes, counting exercises, videos, children's songs, or cartoons. With the right amount of motivation, parents can introduce their children to a whole new world and encourage their appreciation of other cultures.


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