Lightning-fast foreign language for kids and families {book review}

lightning-fast seriesI believe the two best things you can do for your children is to one – have them learn to play an instrument and read sheet music, and two – have them learn a second language.  These two activities are proven to have dramatic effects on intellect later in life.

There is a lot of evidence that kids have an easier time learning second and third languages than adults.   When I say “kids” I mean before puberty.  I learned Spanish throughout my school years, becoming quite fluent and it has benefited me not only in travels, but at home here in Southern California.  Living in a country with no official language really encourages one to learn other tongues.

With a five year old in the house, I have really been looking for different resources to begin structured language lessons.  Yes she is learning words from TV, friends, even strangers, but I wanted to start building a better foundation for her.  I came across Carolyn Woods’ “Lightning-fast” language series of books and jumped on the chance to review them.  Since Spanish and French are the second languages in my house, I chose those two for my daughter, starting with Spanish.  Not only is learning Spanish great for expanding the brain, it is a clear advantage when living in the southern United States.

The set up of the Lightning-fast series is very engaging and is broken down into topics, conversations really.  You can pick up the book and jump right in with no previous knowledge of the language.  There are no random lists of words to memorize like a vocabulary quiz.  Instead, each lesson makes sense and the new words fit into practical daily life situations, like comparisons or a day at school.  The topics are very “everyday” meaning that after learning these conversations, you and your child could speak to natives of that tongue.  While they may not be giving grammar-perfect speeches, they could certainly make new friends that otherwise couldn’t happen.  And when you travel, your child will have an amazing advantage when ordering food and asking for directions.  (And when I say child, I really mean any member of the family)

In the back of the book are activities to further teach your chosen language.  We found the scavenger hunts to be the most fun.  Out of the lists lightning-fastprovided, I created my own with objects I knew were around my house, then sent out my daughter to find them.  Since she cannot read the languages yet, I needed to shout out the words (which she had previously learned in the conversations).  It was exciting to watch her scamper off and find the correct items.  I can’t even wait to see how prepared she will be when she starts foreign languages at school; what an advantage she will have!  There are also directions for fun games like Twister and Bingo, activities you could do everyday to learn while having a good time.

Books included in the series:

  • Lightning-fast Spanish For Kids and Families
  • Lightning-fast French For Kids and Families
  • Lightning-fast German For Kids and Families
  • Lightning-fast Italian For Kids and Families
  • Lightning-fast Chinese For Kids and Families
  • Lightning-fast Japanese For Kids and Families

My recommendation for this language series is to use it as an additional tool for the whole family.  They work great for kids of all ages and will provide a great foundation.  At the very back, you will find suggestions for additional resources like songs for the car and children’s books written in the same language.  Give your kids a great start to learning their next language with the Lightning-fast series by Carolyn Woods.  As I said before, they are also great for practicing before travel and brushing up on your existing knowledge.  Purchase Lightning-fast Spanish for Kids and Families and other languages through Amazon.

To learn more about the author, Carolyn Woods, check out her Facebook page, her Twitter account, and her Blog, which is all about fun education.

Product was provided to facilitate this review.

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