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Chatterbox Challenge : Guest Blog from La Jolie Ronde

This week saw the launch of Chatterbox Challenge and our fantastic partner groups have been sharing blogs and activities with us throughout the week! Our final blog is from La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children, a unique centre for French and Spanish language learning, who have kindly provided Chatterbox Challenge with some exclusive French and Spanish songs. Read their blog below on developing language at a young age.

La Jolie Ronde has been successfully leading the way in early language learning, offering both French and Spanish classes to nursery and primary aged children throughout the UK and Ireland, for over 30 years.  The development of language in young children is a complex interaction between maturation and learning -they have a keen ear and are very receptive. At this very young age the strategies and language skills which they use for developing their own language are very active. The benefits of introducing foreign languages to young learners are significant.

Scientific research has shown that babies are born with the ability to distinguish all the possible sounds of the world’s languages, therefore the first months and years of a child’s life are crucial for sound recognition.  Words, sounds and intonation will be naturally absorbed during the critical period of a child’s linguistic development.  Also proven is that young babies and toddlers have a greater capacity for tuning into foreign language sounds than at any other time in their lives.  A “good” accent is much harder to master later and developing an ear for what “sounds right” becomes impossible for some older children.

Parents and carers can play a very important role in developing a second language by actively praising and encouraging their child to join in and have fun. The more a parent gets involved and shares their enthusiasm, the quicker their child will settle and respond. At home don’t forget to play and sing with your baby/toddler whenever you can – why not recite one of the rhymes or songs whilst changing a nappy or at bath time?

Marketing Manager Mala Henry says “Children love to repeat sounds, and when rewarded with attention from an adult it stimulates them to repeat and continue with increased vocalisation. The same principles apply when a child learns a second language – it becomes enjoyable, and in turn a more likely positive experience when they are older. We are so excited about this year’s Chatterbox Challenge, we think  that children everywhere will relate, particularly to this year’s “Ben & Holly’s Elf and Fairy Party theme”. And whilst children across the country are having fun developing their own communication skills they’ll also be raising important funds that will help other children with  communication needs.   We would like to encourage parents,  carers, childminders,nursery and primary teachers to definitely take up the Chatterbox Challenge this year.

La Jolie Ronde are delighted to be partnering with I CAN and supporting their Chatterbox Challenge, as a fellow organisation that prioritises children’s communication in the early years and beyond. We believe that the Chatterbox Challenge is a fantastic platform for children to have fun whilst developing their own communication skills as well as a great way to raise funds for children who struggle to communicate.”

La Jolie Ronde have supplied I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge with some exclusive French and Spanish Actions Songs asa fun new twist. Take a look here

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