From birth infants make no distinction between music, language, singing and speech, and children can imitate the rhythm of a language long before saying the words.
Young children can imitate and reproduce other languages with perfect pronunciation.
Listening to music in a foreign language is a fantastic way of learning single words and whole phrases in context.
Viva Sing&Sign Spanish has been going from strength to strength for the past 9 years; We now have a 3 phase programme:
Stage 1: los peques (babies/toddlers) learn to sing and sign with their parents: simple but effective. How lovely for a mum to be able to sing goodnight lullabies in a different language.
Stage 2: los niños (4-6 years) have classes on their own. They concentrate on understanding the signs and they then learn specially written songs, which they can sing with remarkable accuracy.
Stage 3: los grandes (6-8 years) use the signs to prompt them to say whole phrases in Spanish, with the songs as a springboard to create more sentences
The beauty of this approach is that it is totally inclusive, so children with communication difficulties are not excluded from the joy of being able to explore a foreign language.