Archive for 2009|Yearly archive page


In Uncategorized on July 23, 2009 at 9:31 am

So my 3 year old son has decided to shut all communication when it comes to using the potty… this strange change just happen over night…. hold is pee and poo till his blue… doesn’t want to go the potty denies he has to go even if he has been doing the pee pee dance for 30 minutes.. i really wonder why this sudden change in behavior.. any advice …ANYONE?


To go or not to go

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2009 at 3:21 am

Hey Guys here is my new situation with my very energetic Toddler son …It seems when ever we go somewhere whether it is a visit to Grand pas diner, friends house or my all time favorite THE PARK when it’s time to leave he refuses…throws a tantrum kicking and screaming the whole 9… I tried communicating with him prior to going to said places but no luck…. it really puts such a negative ending to such a positive start… any advice???

The Pros and Cons of Raising a Multilingual Child

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2009 at 9:14 am
The Pros and Cons of Raising a Multilingual Child

There are so many benefits to knowing more than one language that your multilingual child will no doubt be grateful to you forever. With many old myths it is sometimes difficult to make head or tail of it. So let’s explore the real pros and cons.

The Pros

Growing up with multiple languages is the easiest, fastest, and most effortless way to learn a foreign language. For your baby, it will be as natural as learning one language is to all babies.

* It is easier to learn another language from birth than it is during any other time in life — baby simply has two first languages.
* Your child will have a head start in school. In most countries, a foreign language is mandatory.
* If your child wants to study more languages later in life, she will have a leg up. The differences in sounds, word order, stress, rhythm, intonation and grammatical structures will be easier to learn. For related languages, such as Spanish and French, the similar vocabulary will make learning especially fast.
* Multilingualism has been proven to help your child develop superior reading and writing skills.
* Multilingual children also tend to have over all better analytical, social, and academic skills than their monolingual peers.
* Knowing more than one language helps your child feel at ease in different environments. It creates a natural flexibility and adaptability, and it increases her self-esteem and self confidence.
* Your child will develop an appreciation for other cultures and an innate acceptance of cultural differences.
* Career prospects are multiplied many times over for people who know more than one language. Helen Riley-Collins, president of Aunt Ann’s In-House Staffing in San Francisco, said more than half her clients request nannies who speak another language. “Families who are involved in international business are thinking ahead,” she said of her clients, many of whom work in high tech, investment banking or finance. “They want to give their children a head start in business in 20 years.”
* If your native language is different from the community language, you probably will feel emotionally closer to your baby when speaking your native language to her.

Parents tell us time and time again that they regret losing their own heritage language when growing up, something frequently reported on by the media as well. Here is one example:

Daniel told me that his mother, who was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States as a child, suffered from racial prejudice, much of it because she didn’t speak English. She decided that her children wouldn’t live through the same humiliations; so her children would speak only English. In retrospect, Daniel understands his mother’s love and motivations, but he still regrets that tough sacrifice. “My mother’s decision hurt us in the long run,” he told me. “When we started working, we discovered that speaking Spanish would have been an advantage for us in the workplace.”… Besides allowing their child to miss out on the great opportunity of being bilingual, parents who don’t stimulate the learning of their mother tongue are ensuring that their children lose a valuable cultural heritage, the last and most important connection to their roots.

The Cons

Raising a multilingual baby is a practice fraught with misconceptions. Everyone has an opinion and may be more than happy to share it with you. But, extensive medical studies on language development in the last 10-20 years have proven most of these myths wrong.

To make an informed decision, you simply need to know the facts. The truth is that there are basically only four potential disadvantages, and even these are not true in every case:

Speaking Later. While there’s no scientific evidence that proves multilinguals begin speaking later, many parents estimate that there is a three to six month delay compared to monolingual children the same age. If you think about it, it makes sense that a child learning two or more language systems might take more time, since they are actually learning twice as many words. Even so, six months is a small price to pay for the ability to speak two or three languages!

Mixing languages. Mixing words is very common in children learning more than one language at a time. But this is a temporary phenomenon. At the age of four or five it has mostly disappeared. Don’t forget that children who are learning only one language often use the wrong word until they learn the right one, and adults often say “umm” when the right word doesn’t come quickly. When multilingual kids can’t think of a word in Vietnamese, for example, they might borrow it from French. This automatically disappears when the vocabulary in each language increases. The best remedy is to be consistent when talking to your child. Your patience will be rewarded, guaranteed.

Additional effort for the parents. This is probably the biggest issue. Raising a multilingual child is a commitment and much like piano lessons — you can’t expect your little one to be a virtuoso overnight. This is a long-term investment in your child. It will require extra effort on your part to provide enough language exposure, extra encouragement, keeping your language rules consistent, and in some cases even change the previous language pattern in the family. It can feel a bit awkward at first if you introduce a new language into the family when baby is born, but rest assured, after a few weeks it simply becomes a part of your daily routine. Incidentally, it’s easier to raise a multilingual second child if your first child was raised that way. Your first will end up doing a lot of the work for you by simply being a natural chatterbox. Parents of multilingual children agree overwhelmingly that the benefits for their children are well worth the effort.

Reading and writing. Yes, teaching a multilingual child to read and write adds to the academic load, especially if the aim is full literacy in all of your chosen languages. For many parents, it’s enough if the child can speak in a particular language. Others want to go the extra mile and add reading and writing abilities. Of course, it’s easier if the alphabet is the same, but even related alphabets such as the Roman, Russian, and Greek systems are similar enough that your child will pick them up fairly easily. Pictographs systems like Chinese, however, require a much more resolute effort.

There’s no doubt that multilingual children have more advantages. Your extra effort will give them a valuable skill they’ll use in numerous ways for the rest of their lives.

Will the new Dora Annoy ya???

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2009 at 4:25 am

So the new buzz that is going around is that the creators of  Dora the Explorer are looking to spice things up with her making her older ( teenager ) with short skirts and high heels . I dont know about your little ones but I feel my son will lose interest with the new Dora he currently loves to watch her and her Cousin Diego but this change might” TUNE HIM OFF “but on a different note it might attract older viewers. I have posted the link so you decide will he new Dora Annoya?

Big Boy Underwear Has made its Apperance

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2009 at 4:05 am

Well if you been following my posts you would have read the one post ” Mother and Son need Potty Training” where I am actually pleading for some advice on PT my son well great news since Friday afternoon he has been wearing his BIG BOY UNDERWEAR and informing me every time he needs to go I am so happy that he is grasping it I know it’s in inevitable that he would eventually learn I mean think about it have we ever met anyone who does not know how to use the toilet.( with the exception of males I mean come on toilet seat back down and if you sprinkle when you tinkle clean the seat fellas!!) lol ok back to my little one so he wears underwear thru out the day but at night I put a diaper on him. Should I stop that as well? Any thoughts/advice will be great!

3rd Language 2 soon???

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2009 at 5:52 am

My son will be turning 3 in June and I am beginning to get the bug to introduce him to the Spanish Heritage/ Language. He currently speaks Greek and English fluently. Do you think I should wait until he goes to school to learn the 3rd language? Do you think it will cause a weakness to the other languages that he currently speaks? I have a few friends that tell me to “let him be” and not to put too much on him and then I have others that’s tell me to “Go for it” Any comments you have will be great…if possible please do not send me a personal e mail answer in the group. I am sure everyone will be interested in your responses.
Looking forward to hearing from youlogo1lingotoys-gk2

Dartmouth Researchers Find A Neural Signature Of Bilingualism Using Infrared Light To Study The Brain

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2009 at 6:03 am

Dartmouth Researchers Find A Neural Signature Of Bilingualism Using Infrared Light To Study The Brain

Dartmouth researchers have found areas in the brain that indicate bilingualism. The finding sheds new light on decades of debate about how the human brain’s language centers may actually be enhanced when faced with two or more languages as opposed to only one. The study was presented at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting on October 14-18 in Atlanta, Ga.

The researchers used an optical imaging technology called Near Infrared Spectroscopy (or NIRS) as a new “microscope” into the human brain’s higher cognitive capacities, and they are among the first to take advantage of this technology in this way. NIRS has been used in the detection of, for example, breast tumors and heart blood flow. The Dartmouth team used NIRS to measure changes in the brain’s oxygen levels while people performed specific language and cognitive tasks.

Authors of the study are Mark Shalinsky, former post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth now a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital; Ioulia Kovelman, formerly a Dartmouth graduate student currently a post-doctoral fellow at MIT; Melody Berens, currently a post-doctoral fellow at Dartmouth; and Laura-Ann Petitto, the study’s senior scientific director, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth.

“NIRS provides much the same information as functional magnetic resonance imaging or ‘fMRI,’ but has several advantages over fMRI,” says Shalinsky, the study’s electro-neurophysiologist who created the analysis programs to use NIRS technology in this new way. NIRS technology is quiet, small and portable. It’s only about the size of a desktop computer. It’s child friendly, and it tolerates a participant’s body movements, which makes it ideal for studying language where participants move their mouths to speak.”

The NIRS showed similar increased brain activity across all people – monolinguals and bilinguals – in the brain’s classic left-hemisphere language regions when they were speaking in only one language (that is, in “monolingual mode”), involving the left Broca’s area and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which are brain areas key to language and verbal working memory, respectively.logo1lingotoys-gk1

Language Learning Fun

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I am a mom, a wife and an entrepreneur. I know I’m a triple threat. =)

I am the mother of a beautiful boy, who can be a handful at times. I know you mothers out there understand.

I have a multi-lingual toy company and it was actually my son that inspired my company.

Being of Greek heritage, I wanted to teach my son my native language and culture and I realized that there were not many toys in the market that would help me achieve this task.

Soon thereafter, Lingo toys Inc. was born. My goal is to provide toys dolls, books and dvds related to an individual’s language with the specific goal to enrich the cultural, geographic and of course lingual knowledge.

I hope you will be able to visit my website at to provide me any feedback on my products or if you are interested in purchasing or selling.

It would be great to interact with people who are involved in the same business or just need help on finding toys for their little ones.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Gerrie Kokolakis

Language Learning Fun
Language Learning Fun