As part of a recent collaboration I had with Little Pim, they sent me the first DVD of the Little Pim Spanish series for review. You may have seen me carrying a Little Pim bag at BlogHer and may have even received a demo from me.
Little Pim is a foreign language DVD series that uses a full immersion method to teach children a second language. Little Pim DVDs are meant for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and use animation mixed with real kids to introduce words and phrases for everyday activities. They currently have the following languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Hebrew and English.
Things I Liked:
- The pronunciation of Spanish terms was very good. No Dora-like pronunciation.
- Each episode lasts 5 minutes, which means that young babies can watch one and you can then turn it off. You can then pick up later on a different episode and it still makes sense. Older kids, like my daughter, can watch the entire 35 minutes and it still flows well from one to the other.
- The Little Pim character (the panda) is adorable and makes the experience fun. Instead of just looking at a bunch of kids doing different actions and hearing a narrator describe the actions with different terms and phrases, you get a cute panda who entertains you along the way. It adds a fun element to the DVD.
Things That Can be Improved:
- Images displayed should always match the phrase.
- Example: When “ella tiene sed” (she’s thirsty) was being said, there was a little girl drinking from a cup. Now, someone who doesn’t already know what the phrase means and can make the connection might think they were saying something like “she’s drinking”. However, we didn’t have the English subtitles on, which might solve that issue.
- There should be a pronunciation guide for parents. The parent guide that came with the DVD suggests you repeat the phrase after it’s said, but if you don’t know how to pronounce it, you might be doing more harm than good in repeating it.
- Towards the end of this particular DVD, they showed dogs and cats and taught the terms for the animals. Our initial reaction was, “What do pets have to do with eating and drinking?” It was at the end of the segment that they showed the pets eating food. So, I guess that was the connection, but it seemed a little odd.
- “Awww he’s a cute panda!”
- “Mommy, Little Pim is so silly.”
- “Look what Little Pim did! Ha ha ha ha ha”
In addition to the remarks about Little Pim, the character, she also asked many, many questions about the different things the kids were doing and the different phrases. She also started repeating the terms and phrases and did a really good job of pronouncing them properly.
Overall, Little Pim is a cute and fun way to introduce your child to a second language. The panda is entertaining, the interactive nature of the episodes engage children, and the repetitiveness of the phrases is good for learning. I can tell my daughter enjoyed the DVD and she’s asked to see it a couple of times since we initially had her watch it.
Thanks again Little Pim for being a sponsor of my BlogHer trip!