View Full Version : Muzzy/BBC home language courses for children?

08-21-2002, 12:57 PM
I just received some junkmail from a company selling a kit (complete with videos, booklets and cassettes) that is supposed to promote foreign language development in young children. The company's website is early-advantage.com, and courses are available for several foreign languages. I'm not so interested in whether the company can prove all the indirect claims regarding higher SAT scores and IQs; my goals are a little less lofty. I'd just like to introduce my 20-month-old daughter to Spanish but am not sure that this course is worth the $170 investment. I'd like to know whether anybody has used this system and what they think about it if so. Any better products that you'd recommend? Thanks!

08-22-2002, 05:49 PM
You might want to check out some of the CD's mentioned in this thread as a start....


08-27-2002, 02:55 PM
There are several foreign-language-for-kids CDs out there that are in the $30 range that have multiple languages on them for that one price. Haven't tried them myself yet.

The "Grandma and Me" Living Books CD-ROM has 4 separate languages on it too. I adore this CD - it is excellent. Alas, it does not seem to be published any more - maybe eBay or the like. It was $13 retail a few months ago.

11-28-2002, 05:36 PM
Skip it and save your money to send your child on an AFS foreign exchange when she/he is in high school. When my daughter was little I never dreamed I could let her go on an exchange (I was super overprotective mom.) But ideals changed over the years and the 2 foreign exchanges have changed my daughter life forever. She now speaks fluent Italian and can understand Spanish. The French she took in high school - forget it. Total emmersion is the way to go. Kudos to AFS. Maybe hosting a foreign exchange student is a worth while idea.

03-02-2003, 08:10 PM
We were given the German version of Muzzy for Christmas. My daughter loves it, asks to watch it again and again. She was 20 months when she started watching it, and is starting to repeat everything she hears, German and English, so I know that she will learn some vocabulary. I know several other children who have watched other versions, and also been enthralled.

Good luck.

Muzzy language program
11-03-2003, 07:18 PM

I disagree strongly with this. I think it is critical that a child learns a language at a very early age, preferably as a toddler. It broadens her perspective and horizons and helps in every other area of academic study. It is MUCh easier to learn a foriegn language as a child, and to become fluent, then it is after the age of 9. There are sounds that someone who learns a language later in life will never be able to produce. They need to be taught early. That said, the Muzzy course isn't the only option, although it's a great one. I think early language education should ideally be combined with travel (immersion, study abroad, etc.) to give a child a well-rounded education in this global society.

01-11-2004, 08:06 AM
The German language kit is awesome! We bought our (Japanese) version based on the recommendations of friends whose three kids got a working knowledge of German through Muzzy. I suspect that the Spanish and Italian versions are probably just as good (they have the same number of tapes, CDS etc.), but the Japanese version wasn't worth the money. We got one video (not even a DVD) and some flashcards for an outrageous sum. Plus they had problems delivering it to us (an APO, military, address).

I agree with the other poster that this is the time to introduce (NOT in high school) a language. I would say that the reason Muzzy is better than some of the $30 dollar programs is that they have years and years of experience teaching children (i.e. this is not a simplified adult course) AND your child can do this somewhat autonomously. That is you can pop in the video and let her watch vs. having her sit on your lap and fight you for the mouse at the computer.

I also HIGHLY recommend the Usborne "First 1000 Words" books (French, Italian, Spanish, etc.) These are set up similarly to the old Richard Scary books (remember Lowly Worm?) in that each two page spread is a scene of various aspects of a child's life (their room, the school, the street, etc.) with the appropriate word. Most of the Usborne books are now Internet linked so that you can go online and hear how each word is supposed to be pronounced.

Well, that is a bit more than I intended to say when I sat down ;). Hope some of that helped you!

Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)

01-14-2004, 08:48 PM
Have both my children learning Italian through the Muzzy kit right now, ages 7 and 4. There is no doubt that children's brains develop the ability to digest multiple languages well before time for immersion programs in middle and high school. Search the web for studies or articles written. Good luck.