NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 23, 2014) - More and more parents are enrolling their toddlers and preschoolers in foreign-language classes -- some even lining up for hours to score coveted spots in these programs. In our increasingly global economy, parents know a second language is a valuable 21st century skill, and while public schools still wait until kids are in their teens to introduce a language, parents are taking matters into their own hands.
If you're like most parents, you take seriously the challenges of raising your little ones equipped with the tools they need to succeed professionally and personally. But language classes and private lessons can be an expensive investment, and there are so many competing activities to choose from on each parent's mental list.
Julia Pimsleur Levine, a mother, award-winning filmmaker and bilingual language teacher, had language learning at the top of her own list. She wanted her son to have the opportunity to learn from infancy, but quickly discovered there were no high quality educational materials for teaching little ones a foreign language. As the daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur, who created the widely sold Pimsleur Method, she decided to create an easy and affordable multi-media method for parents to use at home. In 2008 she founded Little Pim, the first affordable and entertaining at-home language learning program for children. It launched with Spanish, Chinese and French and now offers 11 languages.
"We have seen an explosion of interest from parents -- they know their kids are growing up in a world that's becoming more and more global, and they also know that learning a second language carries many cognitive benefits. We're excited to help parents introduce their children to a second language at the age they learn best, which is before six," says Pimsleur Levine.
In addition to keeping kids competitive in our global economy, scientific research, including a recent article in Psychological Science, ties being able to think
in a foreign language to stronger memory, analytic skills and better ability to multi-task. A Parents.com article includes these findings along with a study from the College Entrance Examination Board linking foreign language study with higher SAT scores. In addition, research from University of Chicago suggests a second language can help prevent dementia later in life.
Amanda Ripley's thought-provoking book, The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way, notes American kids have fallen far behind their peers in other countries, leaving them at a strong disadvantage in the globalized information economy. In a ranking of student performance on an international test called the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which gauges the teaching of creativity and critical thinking -- correlated with success in the workplace -- the U.S. comes in below no less than 10 other countries.
"One of the best things parents can do for their kids in 2014 is to start teaching them a second language," says Pimsleur Levine. "Once kids turn six their brains become much less receptive to foreign languages -- the window on language learning basically starts to close pretty dramatically -- so this is the one thing parents need to jumpstart even before kids go to PreK."
Little Pim's line features 11 languages in its core series and sells physical products such as books, flashcards and plush as well as digital products like vocabulary booster games in iTunes. The products are designed for parents who don't speak the language themselves, with helpful phonetics and abundant tips. Little Pim is also available on LeapFrog and VTech devices and comes preloaded on the Tabeo (Toys 'R Us) tablet. Brand new this year to the Little Pim collection is a free Progress Tracking App that allows parents to track their child's growing foreign language skills. Available on iOS, the free app is easy-to-use, and can be used on its own, as a flash card game, or in conjunction with the Little Pim video series. Little Pim has also added English ESL flashcards to its ever-expanding collection. The entire flash card line introduces 45 words and phrases for mealtime, playtime and other daily activities.
For more information and to view samples of Little Pim videos, please visit http://www.littlepim.com.
About Little Pim
Little Pim is an award-winning foreign language learning program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. With Little Pim, families can get their first introduction to a foreign language in a way that is easy, fun and effective. Little Pim's unique Entertainment Immersion Method® was designed to engage young kids during the window in which research has shown the brain is most receptive to language learning. Building on a child's natural love of play, the videos blend real kids and animation to provide a captivating full-immersion experience for even the youngest learners. The program is the brainchild of Julia Pimsleur Levine, the daughter of Dr. Paul Pimsleur, creator of the Pimsleur Method, the popular language-learning program for adults. She was inspired to create Little Pim based on her own bilingual childhood. Little Pim is available 11 languages including Spanish, French, Chinese and Italian via videos, music, books, flash cards, gift sets and more. To find out more, visit Littlepim.com.
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