Foreign Language Game Review: Baby's
First Steps in French
Audio CD & Book
By Living Language (a Random House
Our Recommended Age:
Best for newborn-2 years (can be used from newborn-6 years)
Our Rating: A+
Baby's First Steps in French (Baby's First Steps)
parents are eager to take advantage of the "window of
opportunity" for learning multiple languages. Of
course, a second (or third) language can be acquired at any
stage of life, but, in light of recent studies on language
acquisition, introducing languages in the early years
makes sense. "The earlier the better" is the
general message we get concerning introducing foreign
languages to our children. As Erika Levy, the author of the book in this
set, suggests, "the best predictor for successful
acquisition of a language is early exposure".
audio CD in this set entitled Baby's First Steps in
French aims to introduce babies to the unique
sounds of the French language through rhymes, songs,
stories, and dialogues. The focus is on sounds, as this set
is based on research proving that the first two years of a
baby's life are critical ones for laying a solid foundation
for language learning later in life. This CD is
designed to help surround young children with the unique
sounds of a foreign languagein this case, French.
(Other languages are available, see below).
accompanying 80-page book introduces parents to the basics
of language learning, and provides explanations of how
children learn languages. "Helping Your Baby Talk"
is a chapter that many caregivers will find especially
useful, with its tips on how to encourage language skills in
young children. Most parents will appreciate the
fact that lyrics to the CD's songs are provided so that they
can follow along (and learn some French at the same time, if
First Steps in French is designed for children ages newborn
to 2 years old. We have expanded our suggested age group,
simply because the CD is pleasant enough to play as children
grow a little older.
songs include some French classics, such as Frere Jacques,
Fais dodo, and Sur le pont. Rhymes and
dialogue are included as well, so that listeners enjoy a
range of sounds in different formats.
audio CD is divided into 4 sections, corresponding to
different age groups: Newborn to 6 months, 6-12 months, 12-18 months,
and 18-24 months. Each section features
carefully selected sounds that correlate with that
particular stage of baby's development. For example, the 6-12 month section
(section 2) emphasizes sounds in the French language that
are especially apt to become "lost" as babies
learn their native language, as this stage is known to be a
crucial one for naturally distinguishing the distinct sounds
of a non-native language.
care that went into this CD is evident throughout.
Certainly, the songs and dialogue were not randomly slapped together.
Rather, they are organized and thoughtfully arranged in the
light of important recent studies about language acquisition
in the early years of life.
The CD is pleasant and soothing,
and native speakers/singers are used throughout. Using
native speakers for foreign language learning products should
be a given, but you might be surprised to learn (as we were)
that there are products out there that employ non-native
speakers! Baby's First Steps in French is certainly not one
of them, and is in fact a highly professional, quality, and
superior product that most parents will happily welcome as a
learning aid for their babies.