YMB #54 Natural Foreign Language Learning: A Conversation with Adelaide Olguin

Mom’s are natural teachers for a language — after all moms teach their kids language all the time.

Foreign language can work the same way as a first language — simply start with words and phrases you use everyday and build on one or two at a time. Soon you will know more words in a new language than you ever imagined.

Adelaide Olguin is on the show today to tell us about how this natural language learning works and how you can begin to implement this in your home to learn new languages with your kids. It’s a fun and encouraging episode, so don’t miss it!

Links and resources from today’s show:

 Use Spanish at Home Use Italian at Home Use Chinese (Mandarin) at Home Use French at Home Use German at Home Use Japanese at Home Use Hebrew at Home Use Romanian at Home

Abby: I do feel for my kids in the sense that I say it’s off, time off, but I’m counting so much of what we’re doing toward their portfolio. You know, there’s, we do so much. For example, we’re doing Christmas around the world kind of stuff. They’re getting possibly more geography in December than throughout the rest of the year just because there’s so much to dive into in the holiday season and they’re more interested in reading and they’re so excited about the cooking and it’s so funny because to them it’s time off. But to me it’s just a shift in what we’re doing.

Pam: This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 54 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy you’re joining me here today. Hopefully your school year and your morning time is getting off to a wonderful start. Well, we have a fun conversation for you today. Adelaide Olguin is here from talkbox.mom. Now I met Adelaide on the homeschool convention circuit earlier this year, and I was just so blown away by her enthusiasm for helping families learn foreign languages in a natural non non-contrived kind of way. And that’s what she’s put together with her. Talkbox.mom books and monthly kits that you can get as well. So my family has decided to learn Spanish this year, and we’ve been using talkbox along with a couple of other resources to do that in our morning time. And everyone is having a lot of fun with it. So we decided to have Adelaide on the podcast today to talk about natural language learning and how you might incorporate some of that into not only your morning time, but also your life as well. So I think you’re going to really enjoy this episode and we’ll get on with it right after this word from our sponsor.

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Adelaide Olguin and her husband are digital nomads who have lived in five different countries with their two young boys with a deep desire for helping families successfully learn and actually use a second language Adelaide founded talkbox.mom, a foreign language program, which integrates language learning into normal everyday routines like snack time, running errands, and getting ready for bed. Adelaide joins us on this episode to chat about no fuss ways to weave foreign language learning into Morning Time Adelaide. Welcome to the program.
Oh, thank you so much Pam. I’m so excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
I am so excited to have you because you and I have been running into each other on the conference circuit this year. And one of the things that was immediately apparent to me about you was your passion for what you do.
So I'm happy to have you. Oh, thank you. Yes. It's been so fun to run into you and your family. And I just, I love foreign language because you know, whatever language you choose to learn, it will change your future opportunities. It will open up educational opportunities and work opportunities and you'll meet amazing people. It's just such a life changing thing.
Yeah, that's true. Okay. So let's start off. Tell me how many languages do you speak? So I think the keyword for this is regularly, so like regularly as a family, we speak in Spanish, German and English, not so regularly would be ASL and Portuguese. And of course, you know, by doing talk box, I know some things from lots of languages, but yeah, regularly three languages every day.
Okay. So I know your husband is Hispanic. So what about, where did the German come from?
Awesome. So the German came from me going to Germany and doing a study abroad there and my husband, he studied international business. And so when we were going to either move to Brazil or to Germany, and so we decided to start with German, but what's really fun is at one of the conferences here. Someone asked my husband, they were like, what's your favorite language? And he like, without hesitation was like German, which really surprised me. He just loves, he loves German. So that's always really fun to be able to talk with him in German.
Oh, that is fun. Yeah. That's a lot of fun. My husband actually took German in college and he, yeah, he was stationed in Germany for two years. So yeah. I don't think he can speak a lot now, but every once in a while he'll whip out a phrase or something and say it
When he's angry. No, I'm just kidding.
I think usually it has to do with beer.
Oh, that might make a little fun and they have good chocolates, so, Oh my goodness.
Oh yeah. That they do well on the blog, on your blog talkbox.mom, you talk about moms as the first and most natural teachers of language to our kids. Can you explain about that a little bit more and help us understand what that means for second language learning in our homes?
Oh yeah. I think one of the most underplayed things that moms do is that we teach language all over the world. We teach babies and toddlers all over the world how to talk. We have a higher success rate than university professors and really pricey Academies. We know how to teach languages. And we just do that by, you know, unclogging the toilet and yelling at our kids to put their shoes on.
I mean, saying it nicely, telling our kids nicely to put their shoes on and just doing all these normal day-to-day things that we, we teach our kids how to talk so fast. And we don't, you know, we don't start with grammar and vocabulary. There's no laws. That's like, okay, from zero to three months, start with the present tense and now move on to the past tense.
You know, we don't do things like that. We don't teach our kids grammar until they're seven or eight years old or maybe even a little older. And so we just have this natural ability to teach a language. And there's so many cool things that, that we do as moms. And we teach that we, you know, we don't realize, for example, you know, when your child's little and they, they say their first word and it kind of sounds like a word, like fall, they'd be like, Oh right, Pam, you'd be like, cited that your baby's talking. If you're in a language class and you didn't say that word fully, the professor, whoever would be like, no, that's not how it's said.
It's said like this. And like really kind of undermined mind your attempt to try something we're as moms, you know, we're like filming it. We're like, we're gonna put this on Facebook. And your husband's like, I don't think the baby said anything. You're like, Nope, baby's talking baby. I'm excited. Cause that's like, we're just good at using the language.
You know, we don't teach vocabulary, but we use it as life happens. So like, when you tell your child, you can't have a cookie in your toddlers like cookie, right. They just pulled it from that moment because you're using the words as life happens instead of like giving them a long list of, of things to learn and put together.
So we're just, we're so incredible at creating environment for our kids to thrive in and learning a language,
I love that you use that example because you know, sometimes my kids do try to speak Spanish and I'm just going to go ahead and say, we have a talkbox moms subscription here at our house. And so, you know, we have the snack sheets, which is the first box laying on the table and the kids will pick it up and they'll go over words that we haven't listened to the audio for yet. And I know they're just absolutely butchering the pronunciation and I kind of cringe a little bit, but you're so right. I shouldn't be doing that. I should just be encouraging their attempts. And if I know how to say it myself, repeating it back to them with the correct pronunciation, but still they're speaking Spanish. Even if they're not saying it, quote unquote properly. And I should like celebrate that.
Yeah. Celebrate it. And one thing that's really interesting. That's like scientific, which is why I don't know why so many programs, they expect you to be perfect when you start, because you can't actually hear the sound being said for the first couple of weeks to months of doing it. Like, you won't hear the sounds in Spanish. So if someone's correcting you, it's going to like silently break your heart because you're like, I'm trying to do this new thing. And then you can't get better at it because you can't, you can't hear that it's any better.
So it's, it's totally fine to start by not saying things correctly or having an accent because you know, how many people speak English with an accent? Like you're okay if you have an accent when speaking Spanish, but just having that positive attitude, it changes so many things in your you're more likely to try. I mean, my son, when he was little, he kept seeing Raiders of the lost Ark on Netflix and wanted to watch it, but he'd always call it like Raiders of the lost Lark, like, like a little bird, you know, he couldn't hear it. And it's funny. And I thought, you know, all, everyone listening can think of two things. Their kids said that you're like, I'm not going to correct them on that. That is how foreign language should be. Right. You should be like, Oh, it's so cute that they tried to do this. And speech therapists do say like, one thing that we could improve on as parents is something that you just nailed, Pam is instead of correcting your child, just saying it back correctly to them, if you know how to say it. And that's why, you know, you being able to say it or listening to the audio is so helpful because you just have that reflection back. And then in your own time, you can get better at saying it as long as you're not stressed out and self-conscious.
Yeah. And okay, so you hit upon something else. This is why I knew this conversation was going to be great for me in our attempts to learn a foreign language, because I was going to have so many takeaways from it. You also mentioned, you know, if your toddler wants a cookie, then he's going to say the word cookie. And I thinking back to, you know, kids do acquire words at a very quick rate, but it started with them just saying cookie, and maybe that's all they could say our dog and maybe that's all they could say. And it's okay for them to just say the one word for a few weeks or for them just to say, when they want something just to come up and say the word and not actually have to form the entire sentence. And it still, they're still making progress and it's still okay.
Oh yeah. Definitely. I think how we learn language is, is we hear full sentences. Well no, we hear full sentences and then we extract words from that. And then we rebuild those sentences. That's exactly what are doing and we're not giving them, you know, we're not like here are the verb.
Here are the nouns. They're able to splice sentences and put them together as they hear more and more sentences. And that's why the talk box can work so well is because it's, you know, it's doing, it's doing exactly what we're doing. So if your kids are starting just by saying one word, that's totally fine in the sentences we use in it are so many sentences where you can just take those words and add them in.
So once they get one word, they'll be able to put it into so many different sentences that they're learning. That's still they'll have that, you know, that explosive moment where it's just so much language comes out.
Yeah. And this isn't a race, is it? I mean, it's, this is something that you could look at it as we're going to work on this for a while.
And eventually we're going to be much better Spanish speakers than we were before we started, but we don't have to be in a big hurry to get there. It's more about collecting words and learning to use them than it is trying to finish X amount and X amount of time. Isn't it?
Oh my goodness. Yes. I mean, could you imagine like having your child and being like, all right, I want to cram five months of piano into a one month period. Like how stressful would that be on your whole family to like push so hard? The idea is that you're building the skill over time. And I know that, you know, so many people say when they use our program, they pass up years, like five years, three years, two years of learning a foreign language in a couple of weeks because they're actually talking, but it's really about going deeper after that and expanding what you can talk about. And that works really well when you feel confident and you know, you know, you just have that good foundation. And so, yeah, there's no rush to it.
That's especially why our subscriptions are so nice because whenever one is coming up, even before you're charged, you get a reminder, which, you know, that says your next box is being packed. And we can just move it back for you if you're not ready because we don't, we don't think you need these firm deadlines and we want you working towards your goal, but life can get crazy. Or some, some boxes might take you longer than others, or you might be really busy at conferences, right? Pam?
Yeah. This, okay. So this happened to me. I didn't even have to fill out the email. Adelaide walked up to me at a conference and said, you've been at conferences all this time. There's no way you've been using that box. And she was right. And so she just made herself a note to change my box delivery date and set it back a little while for me so that I didn't end up with, you know, stress because I had a new box coming and wasn't ready to use it. So yeah, I totally, yeah. Okay. Well, why should we include foreign language in our homeschools? And in our morning time, I mean, we've got a translation app at our fingertips, so why should we learn a language?
Oh, great question. So before I touch on translation out, which makes me giggle because I have a really good video about that, but before I hits on that, there's so many benefits of learning a foreign language. If you learn a foreign language you have studies that show that your kids, the way that they process information is better, their IQ or higher, they are able to sort through information quickly and multitask their SAT and ACT scores are higher. They're also able to uniquely link ideas together. And if you have a grandparent in your home, or even for your sake, there's studies that show that your brain is safe for five years from Alzheimer's and dementia, just by learning a foreign language. So that's really amazing to have those five extra years with your grandchildren. And besides just those benefits, I think the biggest for me are the educational opportunities will open up because you, you know, if your child they're German, they can go to Germany on an internship and do these amazing engineering internships they have there. Or they can study somewhere, you know, here in the States, it's very expensive to go to college, but overseas it's a couple hundred dollars a semester to even by paying to live over there. You're, you're saving more than studying here. So that's really amazing. And then just the opportunities it opens up for work.
We had a father, even in Florida who bought our program, he'd been passed up for a job, a corporate job in Texas that he had applied for it because the other person spoke some Spanish, you know? And so we really want to help you guys. So if you or your children go into a job interview, they're there. If they ask you, Oh, do you speak Spanish? Or, you know, whatever language it might be, you're not like, well, I took two years. You're like, yeah, that's the one you'll have to get up and you can talk to them and you can use their Spanish and use Spanish. And then the other, the other benefit is really, if you have family that speak that language or your cultural, if you, if your kids know their heritage, they're more likely to be obedient when they're teenagers, which is like a huge plus, right? So that is really nice. And then you just have this amazing, amazing connection with family that you wouldn't have already had. So there's just so many amazing benefits and, and really connecting with people. So if you're using a translation app, it's, you're not connecting with people in that same way. There are like times like there's some languages, I don't know. And I'll, and I'll get help, but you, you just get on a more friend level when you can actually talk and, and understand it because really language, language is not a computer language. It's emotional. So often when you're using an app to, to translate, you're getting a very formulaic response and you're not really getting the emotional part of language. And so it just doesn't, it just doesn't match up.
I think my favorite is Jimmy Fallon on the tonight show Jimmy Fallon. He does this Google translate song thing where he takes a song in English and then puts it into another language. And then they put it back into English and the song bananas, it is just wild. They sing it on there. It's super good. So if you want to see how, how crazy Google translate that's up. I definitely recommend watching one of them of videos. It's good. Fun.
Oh, that does sound like fun. And it just, it doesn't, you know, it, I mean, there's so many nuances to language and idioms and things like that, and they just don't translate. Yes. And the last things that I just popped into my brain was other studies show that your kids also have a higher attention span, which is great. And then they make more logical decisions than emotional decisions. And when they make decisions, they commit to those decisions and they feel good about the decisions they made. I really see that in my kids.
I think it's amazing, but my children they're about, they're almost one is five, because December one is five and the other one's about to turn eight. And everyone is just like, those are like the most logical. I mean, they have their moments, right. They have their moments granted, but they're just makes such logical decisions. Very impressive.
And they feel good about the decisions they make with their life. It's just, it's amazing to see that. And that makes me really happy.
I love that. And I love that. You said that, you know, you were talking about the guy in, who would lost the job in Texas. Not because his competitor was fluent in Spanish, but because his competitor knew some Spanish, you know, So there's a, Yeah, there's a benefit to knowing some, some is always better than none art. Some is, yeah. Some is better than none, but some is always better than perfection, I think was what I was trying to say.
Yes, I, that is my biggest thing because like our program is, have so much content in it that it's not something it's not something you want to do very quickly because you'll be overwhelmed. So usually when someone does the first book and talk box, they will say, like I had mentioned, they passed up years of trying to learn a foreign language. And even if you just know what's in the first book and talk box, you will be able to use the language so much to be able to get by.
And we talk about, you know, asking how to say different things. So you don't even have to know everything in a conversation, but even doing a little bit, it helps you so much.
Yeah. Yeah. I think so. All right. Well, what has your experience been with exposure when exposing your own kids to languages at a young age? Now you've talked about kind of the, their decision-making process and then being logical and confident and things like that. Have you noticed anything else?
Oh my gosh. Their math skills. That's one. I didn't mention, if you learn a foreign language, it's the same part of your brain that does math. And so your math skills improve. It's just, I'm just like blown away. I'm like, I wasn't like the math kid, you know? And so my gosh, my kids have just like, there's things they're bad at too. Like, I want people to realize that too, but just, I don't want to make anybody feel bad because, you know, hell I was doing the math, they just blow through mass curriculums that I'm trying to find one for my, my almost eight year old. And he's in like fourth, fifth grade, math was, I mean, his, his reading is, is not there just so nobody feels bad. Right. But it's just, that is really cool. That is massive there. But I, I think the, one of the biggest things also that just like really pulls at my heart as a mom is their empathy for other people, just living in other countries and using the language and being able to connect with other people. They really understand other cultures better. And they're, they're more tolerant and not in a way that they're lowering their standards or anything like that, but they just understand people who are different from them or live differently than them. And they can really connect to other people and I'll always see them trying to help somebody, you know, whether it's at the grocery store and like there's somebody who can only speak Spanish and they're like, Oh, we can handle that. We can help out, you know, just different things like that, that they can do or it's yeah. It doesn't even have to do with language. That's just how it changes them.
But as far as like being able to speak for me, when you learn a language with your family and you, you kind of look like you're talking in it and you're using it, you have this ability to look back and be like, wow, look what we did together. And so I really feel this strong connection. We have this really strong bond that we've made by learning different, different languages.
I love it. And is there a magic window for learning a foreign language? Is there like a time you've got to hit and, or you've just lost your opportunity to do that?
I'm glad you asked that because a lot of people will say like, Oh, you know, only this age, you can learn a language. The reasons they say that like they're like at a young age, you can only learn a language or they learn a language really well is because they're learning it by hearing it and using it as life happens. Right? If you're starting with grammar and vocabulary, it is going to be so hard to learn a foreign language. But if you learn a language like a child learns language, you're fine.
So if you're four and under, you can actually still hear the sound being said. And so you do have an easier time to pronounce things. And you're less self-conscious about how you're saying things, as long as you have that happy vibe in your home. But if you're older than that, you are just fine. As long as you are learning the language by using the language.
Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I've actually picked up quite a bit and I don't always say it correctly. And I don't always like, you know, I'm the one, I'm the person who's really, self-conscious like, am I using the plural form? You know, do I ask one kid something? And I, you know, accidentally use the plural form or, Oh, was that right? Was that plural or singular? So, but the kids don't get hung up on that. The only one who gets hung up on that.
No, no, they don't. I have, I love the story from one of my friends. She was in France and she was trying so hard to say everything correctly. And you know, she was trying to put the sentences together and people would just start speaking in English to her. And it was just so frustrating to her. And then one day she was like, she just had this feeling. I need to talk. And if it sounds terrible, I don't care. I'm just going to say how I feel. Like, just say it and not prethink it or anything.
And so she's like, it was terrible, but people spoke to me back in front and she was like, it was because they weren't like, I wasn't driving them nuts, going so slow. They just wanted to hear what I was trying to say. And isn't that true for us in the United States? You know, if someone comes up to us and they're not really saying anything and they're just staring at us and then finally they're like bathroom. We're like, Oh yeah. I tell them the hall this way. Right. We help them out right here. If it's perfect, we're not judging them. And like, Oh, you use the wrong pronoun there. We just want to know them and to get to know them or know how we can help them.
Yeah. That's true. That's so very true. I love that. It's hard. It's hard to, it's hard to get over yourself and step out in bravery like that, but it is, I think so important to being successful in, in learning something new is the willingness to make mistakes and then, you know, do better next time. So yeah.
Yeah. I'm glad you said get over yourself. That's actually my, my one step program to getting over your accent is really just to get over yourself. Because if you think about it, so many people speak English with an accent, with a German accent, Italian accent, whatever accent. Right. And we're not like you're speaking English with an accent. We're usually like, Ooh, where are you from?
Right. Yeah. It's not. Yeah, exactly. And so, you know, somebody from Puerto Rico or Mexico or Columbia might look at me and go, well, you're not from around here. You know, it might just lead them to ask, where are you from? And it's a point of conversation and not, you know, judgment on their part. I think we worry that we're going to be judged.
Yeah. And if someone is, Oh my gosh, I had this weird German guy one time be like, Oh, you have a very strong accent. And I was like, this is when I was like, just starting. And I was learning a different way. And it was so scary and stressful, but I was like, excuse me. So do you, buddy, what is going on here? But yeah, nobody's judging you because of your accent. Who cares about that? Oh my goodness. They've got too much time. So you don't wanna be friends with them anyway.
Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So we've, we've actually kind of moved into my next question already, which is why is foreign language learning so intimidating. And we kind of touched on the fact that, you know, we're worried about making a fool of ourselves or sounding funny. What else do you think even just within your home, when you're not even speaking with native speakers, what is it that makes foreign language learning so intimidating for people?
I think one big thing we tell ourselves is to be able to speak a language. We have to know everything. Like we, if we don't know how to say it or missing something, we have some kind of gaps. It's like, we're not good enough. There's some like, Oh, I shouldn't be, you know what I mean? Like, I shouldn't be doing this. Cause I don't even know all of these things. Your babies would never talk if they thought that way.
Right. They're just adding, adding more layers. So I think the trap of perfection is really hard, but think about like nothing, you start your perfect at. If you're trying your kids up for swim lessons and they haven't flown before and you slam before and you throw them in the water and they're drowned and you wouldn't be like, wow, you'll never swim.
You're terrible at this. You got to build some skills and you will just work on those things. But for some reason, I think, cause we are like, Oh, I can already speak one language. I'm so good at it. That when you start over, it's really humbling experience. You can't share everything that's inside of you. You kind of feel not as smart.
I know whenever I'm starting over in another language, I worry how people perceive me because I can't share the thoughts in my head. I'm like, they must think I'm a very unintelligent person. Right. And so they probably don't, they probably just think I'm wild as all which is accurate. But they, I think it's just, just yet really having the,
just judging yourself, how you might be perceived as very hard to get over. So those are, those are some things that even freak me out and something. I mean, my kids are just such good examples for just trying it out and, and going for it.
And I think too, we don't remember how we learned to talk. It was not something that we remember the process of. You know, we don't remember how we learned our first language because we were all, we all did it when we were very young. And so we kind of get these artificial ideas in our head of what it's like to learn a language, Oh, we need a textbook. Oh, we need a vocabulary cards. Talk a little bit about that. Where do we tend to go wrong with most models of foreign language instruction.
Oh, great. Great. Yes. So like the natural process is like, first you talk to your baby, read to your baby, you think to your baby, those are like, you know, starting off. And then they start talking and singing and watching videos. And then after that, they'll start reading and in writing,
you know, and, and usually foreign language programs start at the way, end of the spectrum, where they're already reading, writing, and doing grammar like this, the very last thing that you ever ever learned. And so if you start at the end of that spectrum, you're really doing yourself, such a disservice because you don't have any foundation. So if you can talk already, I mean, if you can, if you can talk out already, how easy is it to sound out a word? So reading is just so easy. If you can already talk and you've been read to, and you're doing all these things, grammar is so easy. Usually the, the children who do the best at grammar are the ones who have an ear for it, because it's like, does that sound right to me? And you know, if it sounds right or not, I think that's the most amazing thing by, cause I've learned languages the hardest way possible. And I've learned languages with talkbox and it's just so nice to be able to, I'll say something, I'll be like, wait, that doesn't sound right.
And I'll resay it. And it's probably like a verb I've never even used in that tense. And then I'll have like hit it on, you know, I'll have done it just right. And it's just, it's really cool that, that that happened because I get an ear for it. And so when you have a, when you have an ear for it, when you've been exposed to the language, those things that usually trip you up are so much easier and then just vocabulary. Oh my goodness. Vocabulary. So vocabulary is like pretty useless if you don't know how to use it. And just because, you know, kids will start by saying one word. It doesn't mean they started with one word, right?
They started with that full sentence. Like the cookie example. You can't have a cookie. They heard it in the full thing. I never went around the house to my kids being like tables, chair, lamp. Right? So moms are so good at teaching languages or vocabulary in the moment as life happens. And so teaching vocabulary that way, it makes it, so it stays with you and you're able to use that you have a function for it. So it's not something you're going to forget. I know, you know, in our, in our program, we talk a lot about like, if you're not gonna use it, don't learn it. Like really learn the things that you need to say. You want to say. And you say all the time, like those are your, your biggest focuses when you start.
And that's the way to learn vocabulary. You learn like hundreds and hundreds of vocabulary words in a couple of weeks because you're just actually, you know, using it in the sentence. And so that just makes, makes all the difference.
Yeah. I went through the kitchen cards today and pulled them out and was sticking them onto items in the kitchen with the painter's tape.
And first of all, I knew we couldn't do every card in the box, like that would just be setting us up for failure. And so there were a couple of things in there and I, I, right now, at this moment, I can't remember what they were, but I was like, we don't have one of those in our kitchen. And so it was real easy to throw that one aside and say, yeah, we're not going to learn that one.
Yeah, absolutely good. I'm glad you did that because yeah, we definitely talked about that. And you know, in our book, even we have phrases for younger kids. We have phrases for older kids. I think it's very rare that someone's like a hundred percent of the book I needed.
Right. That's like, that's not the reason we wrote it. We wrote it for you to find the sentences that you need. Cause that's, that's when you're going to really take off.
Yeah. Yeah. So what about this idea that if I don't know how to speak a language, you know, my kids, aren't going to be able to learn it. My kid, you know, that you could really only learn a language from like immersion.
Well, so our, I mean, our talkbox program is me being in other countries and hiring people to tell me how to say things. And, you know, really discovering that after two weeks I could already talk and understand the language. And then once I recorded it, all I found out that I could learn even faster than having people come and help me and having this immersive environment. And so, and then having the access to the audio, to be able to hear that whenever I want and not have, you know, early 20 year olds rolling their eyes at me, that I forgot how to say something. Cause I don't sleep at night. I got kids.
So when you have the access to be able to, you know, hear how it sounds and be able to use it, I mean, you're, you're really having that immersive experience that, you know, otherwise it would cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars to go there and be able to do those things.
And so that's really like what we did for talkbox. Cause we wanted to make it super accessible. We took for every box that somebody gets at least $600 at someone like a native speaker coming to your house and doing it with you and an $80 box. That was just our, our biggest goal for it. And for your whole family, not like per person or anything like that. So we really wanted to, to give families in the United States, especially that immersive experience, but yeah, you know what? I have moms to meet all over the country and they will come up to me Pam and they will say, I can't learn a language. Like this is something I have to do with my kids.
I can't learn a language and very quickly I'm like, well, like you're talking to me in English, so I know you can learn a language. Right. But you can't learn it the hardest way possible, which is starting with grammar and vocabulary. You have to be able to use it. And so that's really what we give people as the tools to be able to, to start over and, you know, learn another language.
Okay. So you're creating that immersive experience as much as possible with the talk box and then the entire family can learn together.
Okay. Yeah. So that answers that question and it really is. I mean, it's so much fun. When do you pull the cards out of the box and you start, you know, reading them and using them. And the kids are constantly, I mean, we keep our snack cards on the dinner table with us and the kids are constantly picking them up and looking through and asking for cookies and you know, things like that. So they just enjoy it and have fun with it because it's something that they can use immediately throughout the day. I think that was the first thing Olivia said was this is a lot of fun and I don't think she expected it to be fun.
Yes. Oh my gosh. So Olivia, this is just, you know, this is how amazing Pam and Olivia are. Olivia came up to me. I don't even know what state we were in, but she came up to me and she was talking about this Spanish program that she uses. And I had, I didn't even recognize this daughter when she was talking to me. And I was like, what are you talking about? Really sounds like our talkbox. She's like it is. And I was like, what's your last name could be a, you know, I know the family through the program. And I was like, Oh,
okay. But then I was so that I asked her, I go, what's your favorite phrase? And without hesitation, she goes and asked us speed and tone and everything. And she goes, Quiero pastel por favor. And I was like, Oh my goodness, girl, I really liked cake. That's a phrase. I love cake, please.
Like how, Oh my gosh. And just her being able to do that, it just, I was like, of course Pam started can do that. Cause you guys understand consistency. You understand how to, how to grow a skill. You're very good at that. And your programs are so good at that.
Well, let's talk because that came from the native speakers on the audio. So let's talk a little bit about that. So you use all native speakers for your audio that comes with the program, correct?
Oh yeah. And everything is made with speakers from the translation to the editors, to the voice artists and they're all native speakers. They're all women. They're usually moms because just this, this common back and forth conversation that we have is really hard to nail.
So like if there's a, you know, somebody working in an office and they're not, you know, they're single, maybe they're not with a family, they don't get these really authentic translations that we do. And so they're, they always sound really good and they're not direct translations. So you usually what the person would say in that situation. So you sound like you're from there, like that's our biggest goal. If you were to go to Mexico, someone would say to Olivia, like, is your mom from here? Like how do you talk so well, that's, that's really what we want is talkbox.mom to be your foreign language, mom helping you. But yes, the native speakers are all the audio is done by native speakers and everything has audio.
And we do have a really exciting treat coming out. We have a new app that's coming out, so the audio will be even easier and you could still access it on your phone, computer and tablet right now. But we have a really cool app coming out and I'm excited about that. Oh, I love that idea. That is going to be awesome because I was sitting here thinking I need to download the next set of audio right now and import it into my iTunes and get it on my phone and get it ready to go.
So it's going to be nice to, to have the app and yeah. And you can, sorry, you can also, if you go on your phone, you can go to your account and just link on your web browser and you can just log into your box and be able to click each phrase that you want to listen to as well.
Okay, Cool. And so I tell you that was one of the things I was really impressed about is the, the accent and the native speakers in the way. And now she does get fast sometimes with some of the phrases I like, she's just, Whoa. And so we have to like back up and just say the one part of the phrase again, until we can all get it.
And we kind of giggle and laugh at each other about it, but I love that you use moms and it's, it's not, you know, some UN translator you've hired or something like that to grab these resources. You mentioned, we have, we have her talk slow at first, like word by word, and then at a normal pace, which for Spanish can be kind of crazy.
So we're like kind of not going to normally go a little less than a normal pace. But the, yeah, what's so cool is when you start doing like doing like the slow word, some people, they can't even hear any of the words, the normal phrases, I don't know. Okay. It's when they start, they just, their brain is just not ready for it.
So just start with those slow words and then assume those full phrases. You'll be like, Oh, I got that. It's just nice to look back after a couple of boxes and you'd be like that one in that first box, are you kidding me? Like, you'll be just so good at it. That it will feel like nothing.
Is it almost like reading where when you start, you start with, you know, sounding things out and then as you begin to become a better reader, you don't sound out every single word. You just look at a word and know what it is. Is it almost like that with language learning where you start by saying things really slow are hearing things really slow. And then you can just hear the phrase and you don't even have to think about each word individually. You just know that you asked me to, you know, put the dishes on the table.
Oh yeah. And for that reason, as you move forward in your boxes, we'll start group, we group phrases together more and more often, just so you're not, you know, like stabbing your eyes out with a fork. Cause it's going too slow for you.
Cause you really do. You pick that up and you get, you get so much faster at understanding and doing things as long as you're practicing using it. Especially when you use it in your everyday life. You use a phrase. Then when you hear the name speaker, audio, you just reinforces that so much more. I think one thing I want to say, like in our program, you don't have to memorize anything because if you're trying to memorize stuff, you don't look at it again. Like if you forget a phrase and you're like, Oh, what is it? Right. And you're like, stressing yourself out. It's not as good as being like, Oh, let's just look at it. Okay. Now I'm looking at, let's listen to it again. Okay. I'm listening to it again. Let's use it again. And now you're building that pathway in your brain so much more than just trying to figure something out, really like you're reinforcing it. And so when you reinforce it like that, then you're really gonna pick up on that skill to, to hear full phrases a lot better.
I love it. Okay. So let's talk a little bit and we've, we've touched on this throughout the whole podcast, but I want to give you a chance to just maybe walk me through if I just had the book or when my first box comes in the mail, how does this work? And then how can we integrate some of this into a morning time setting, which is a little more formal and I can tell you what we do, but kind of walk us through how it works to either get the book and, or get a box.
Yes. So the book is just a great start. If you're like, I don't know if I want a box yet you can start with the book. The book has just a couple of phrases from all of our boxes.
And then a lot of people, if you do get the box, you do get the book with it. You don't have to wait for some of the phrases for the other boxes to come. But with the book, how it works is it has a little heart next to each of the full phrases. So you want to decide what she wants to say, what you need to say and what you say all the time. So something that I say a lot as a mom is go to the car, get in the car, get in your seat, your seatbelt or get in your car seat depending on which child I'm talking to. And so I would just replace that with Spanish. So I would be like, okay,
my phrase today is go to the car, but listen to the native speaker audio. And she's like, ve a carro. Yeah. But she's a native speaker. And so I would practice that with her and I'm like, okay. And so then I would say to my son ve el carro, and if you look at me, like I'm a crazy person, because look, what is my mom doing? I would just be like, that means go to the car. You say it to me. And then I would guide him through it. If he's older, he can also choose his own phrases. But if they're younger, you just lead them, just like you're teaching them English. And they would say ve el carro.
Or maybe they say, ve el varro, you don't even know what they're saying. He'd just be like, okay. And you go to the car. So that it's a real thing. And so you really want to find phrases that, you know, have consequences. That's where a lot of the phrases in the book are commands. Like, keep the lights on or turn on lights or go back to your bed or let's go outside.
Just because once you say the phrase, something is going to happen. So that is very helpful. And so as you go through the book, you'll just start learning. You learn like vocab so quickly because you're actually using the phrases. You'll learn a lot very quickly. And then the boxes, they really take you deeper into the language. So you have the snacks and kitchen box that goes, you know, the, the book probably has like 10 phrases from that box. And that box has hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of phrases, just so many phrase, phrase combinations, even. So you, each box has three challenges. So you start with the first challenge and you get very comfortable with that. And that's just talking about like, are you hungry?
Yes. I am talking to two people or one or two or more people or one person and just, you know, getting comfortable with that. So when you're driving and you pass the chic filet, you can be like, Oh, tienen hambre, you know, are you guys hungry? And like your kids understand, they're like, ah, si. Tengo mucho hambre. and you can, you can be able to talk about, about just common things. And after that, it's you want certain foods and just the different tenses. And they'll notice when you're doing it, that you're actually learning to conjugate without doing like conjugation time. Because you, you conjugate, when you talk, it's just like English. We don't like practice conjugating with our kids.
We just do it. And then yes, I do want these foods or can I have them depending on language, some languages don't say that. And then do you want more? I don't have any more, we’re all out or your sister had the last one. Do you want a banana instead? Which I said like, there's great phrases. You can insert words.
So like, that's a great one because how often you're like, do you want this instead? Or that instead, and then you're cleaning up, you know, let's clean up, put your plate away, put your plate in, in the, on the counter, on the sink and the dishwasher. So you're really like using it through all of snack time.
And you build that. And that might take you one to three weeks, depending on how much time you're spending. I would recommend you read through the phrases. Kind of like the ones I just talked about. And then I'm like, okay, that's what replacing. So someone says it, we got to look at up and then figure out, you know, in English, we'll figure out how to say it in Spanish or whatever language. And then listen to the audio.
I love listening to like having a regular time to listen to the audio. That's very helpful. We'll either do that in the morning, right. Or evening at bedtime. And I will tell my kids, they can repeat. And if they're, you're like, they're not repeating. I was like, Oh, I guess you guys want to go to sleep. And they're like, no, we want to repeat. They're still young. I can do that for them. So that's very fun. But then just, you know, the emphasis on using it whenever you can. So if you can use the phrase, even if you want to ask your mom for cookie, no, she's going to say no, just use it because you get more comfortable and then you'd move on to the next challenge and get very comfortable with that. And then once you finished the third challenge, you Mark it as complete online. So we can send you a little celebration prize. And during that time in your book, you're just looking up like one phrase to five phrases a day. You don't want to overwhelm yourself too much. The boxes are really easy to learn a lot of phrases together because they're like one activity that you go through. But the book is, it's a little harder to learn a lot of phrases together just because it's so many different activities. And that's just a little trickier for your brain to group that and keep that together.
So I just recommend with the book, you know, one phrase a day, and then with the boxes spending like 15, 20 minutes, you know, listening to it and then just start your day using it.
Okay. I love it. And then I was going to say, you mentioned listening to the audio at a set time of day. That is the part that we put in morning time, where we spend a few minutes listening to the native speaker, because then when we go to the kitchen, you know, we can then have the pronunciations. We can pick up the cards if we need to, or we remember how to say something and then we can kind of self-correct our pronunciations from when we listened to the audio. So that's very helpful.
Perfect. Because, Oh, sorry. I was just going to say when you're, when you're doing it in the morning, it's just so great. Cause then you're like, Oh, I have all these opportunities. You know, the phrases are fresh and you're going to use them. It just, it really sets you up for a successful day and just to feel good about yourself. I think what's so cool about talk box is you, you know, you put it in like 15 minutes, but then you like, feel like, yeah, because you're using all these phrases throughout the day, you know, just growing very fast and it's, and you're not, it's not a hard thing. It's just a consistent thing,
Oh. And then I was going to say, you would be okay with, and you would probably encourage it. I'm thinking that if I get into the kitchen and I can only remember part of the phrase to say part of it in English and the stuff I remember in Spanish, in Spanish. Correct.
Yeah. You can definitely do that. Absolutely. And then I, I, if there's something like I'm saying, what did I say to my kids this morning? I was telling them in gentleman to get the tablets and then the chords were there and I was like, and the, and I couldn't think of it just like skipped my mind in Germany. I couldn't think of cords. So I was just like in the cords and I was like, all right. And just, I put on my list of things that I need to look up or refresh or about.
So yeah, definitely just like, keep going, keep using it. And kind of your goal is to be like, Dora the Explorer, but like way more intense. And so whenever you can say something, say it right. Don't feel, I can't say it all. I shouldn't say anything at all of them. Right. That's like one of the traps I was talking about, like, thinking you can't talk, if you don't know at all, like use as much as you can and then just keep adding to it. And I think that's really helpful because that's when you find holes, right? So like, you can say half the phrase, you're like, Oh, okay. I knew that, but I have a hole here. Now you have something to fill. Instead of being like, I'm not going to say anything and that's it, you know? And then you just feel bad about yourself. We don't want that.
Right. Right. And now we're moving into box two before, too much longer. And that's the activity in games box. And I have a feeling we're going to end up doing a lot of that in morning time. And that they're going to be wanting to play those games on time.
Yes, absolutely. And then you'll have access to song native speaking songs online that, you know, like a Mexican mom would sing nursery songs to her child. You'll have that as well on that. That'll be fun in your morning basket. So fun. We love doing that.
Okay. And so that was kind of my final question is what are some other ways to sneak a little foreign language into morning time? Do you have any ideas for like prayers or songs or picture books or things like that?
Oh, yes. I love it. I love all the immersive things. We actually, so our, our curriculum is secular so we can. So families can purchase it from charter schools in to the state, but nobody says the camp how to pray on our blog for free. So that is something that we've been working on and we've been collecting, you know, how are, how different our different users pray. And so that's something that we are going to have on our blog. So weather you use talkbox. mom or not check out our blog for the prayer posts coming up.
So that will be really fun and then ways to immerse yourself. So once you're using phrases and you're going through activities, you know, like doing your challenges and your talkbox or if you're doing something equivalent, that's just fine. Then that's such a good time to add in songs. And I really recommend you start with nursery songs because they don't have so many words in them. And you're more likely to know a lot of the words in them. And then once you understand those songs, I would move up to songs like, you know, Disney songs that have the translated, like, let it go Spanish, or, you know, anything fun like that because you, you have an idea for it. They came to the words a lot. And so we put that on our blog too. So you can see like how it's different or what they mean in that situation.
And then of course, you know, native songs, the era that people are listening to, you know, the cool kids are listening to in Mexico, maybe, you know, of course preview it, everything, everything you love in the songs, the songs are great.
And then I love videos. I think videos are so fun, but you have to keep in mind that your attention span is shorter in a foreign language. So if you were like, okay, kids, you started Chinese. Let's watch a movie for two hours and your kids are not going to love you or love the experience, right. They're gonna be like, this is not fun mom, what are you doing? But starting with a small video. So maybe it's, you know, I love how to videos.
So we'll do how to add in a certain language or I'll look up how to, how to do things that I want to do, or just different concepts. Like our geology we'll do in another language. Just something fun. We do that with video.
And then we move up. If you have Netflix, I mean, this is all stuff for Morning Basket, but just like, you know, in general, if you have Netflix, you can often for different movies, you can change the language. You already have a really good foreign language tool for a movie. You just click on the little speech bubble if you're watching it. And it will tell you if it has options for the audio to change. And also before you go into it, it has audio and subtitles and you can choose that. So I think that's really fun.
And then the last one, after you're doing that, I would recommend reading and reading again, like we were talking about, it's not a race, you read the same book to your kids like a thousand times, and maybe you hid it because it got super annoying to read.
I don't know if that was you or just me, but that'd be something like that where you're reading the book again and again and again, and, and really choose books that don't just have single words. Right? They have phrases. And it just like with the nursery song, don't start with a book that's like, like Harry Potter, right? And there's like 50 words on the page.
You don't know, you're not going to finish that book. Start with a smaller book, maybe one to four phrases you don't know, and then move up and keep moving up until you can read Harry Potter and you can read other books in that foreign language, just so you, you were actually remembering the words you're learning. And blog posts are great to read in a foreign language.
I love that. I love, I love if I'm planning a party or just doing something fun, I'll look up blog posts in a foreign language. Cause I'm more engaged. And, and also for my kids, I'll have them look things up as well.
I love that. And so you guys have a lot of resources on the blog as far as songs for French and Spanish and German. I see. And then also, I mean, check your library because a lot of times you can find like green eggs and ham or something like that. And I love the library for books. Yeah. Or you can also probably find on Amazon as well. Some of your favorite picture books, goodnight, moon and French or Spanish would be a lot of fun to read with your kids.
So yeah. Things like that as well. We are set, we are stepping up the game on our blog, by the way. So other languages will also have more songs and we'll, we'll be doing more. So they'll be really fun. I love that. You're not traveling to conferences every week, so
Oh yes. I like my husband told me like, don't, don't launch another language during conferences and I'm like, no, no, we're still good at that. We'd done so many. You know what we're doing? Oh, Italian. It has been the longest launch of my life. And now that it's like, conferences are over, it's going to be going. But yeah, it's a different life. When, I mean, I love, I love conferences because, Oh my gosh, I just meeting everyone else who is homeschooling. And just being with them, it's just so fun. But it does, it takes up a lot of time traveling and doing everything. So you can't do it all at once and that's fine.
That's true. You can't so little, little bitty steps. Just like learning a new language. You have to take it in small, small bits.
Yeah. That's our blog.
All right. Well Adelaide, thank you so much for joining me here today. And talking to me about kind of this natural way of learning foreign language and how you can do it with your family and how you can integrate some of it into your morning time as well, tell everybody where they can find you online. Awesome. So do you mean for our website or social media or all, all of it. Any place you want us to go?
Okay. So you can follow us on Instagram or Facebook at talkbox mom and you can go to our website. It's talkbox.mom and Pam. Can I tell them about the super awesome discount that we have for them? Is this the time go right ahead.
Okay. Awesome. I was like, am I spoiling anything? I don't know. Okay guys. So Pam has a really exciting offer for you guys and I'm so excited about because it is our best discount on the internet. So if you want to get your first talk box and book, both of them have to be in your cart at the same time, the coupon to work, you will get $30 off your book and talk box too. You're pretty much getting a free book with your talkbox, which is awesome. And that coupon will be going until October 2nd and then it will drop down to $20. So you'll still be able to use the coupon later, but you'll get the best discount.
Now, if you just want to start with your book, just to test the waters, Pam also has a discount for the book, and now I'm going to backtrack to discount to the talkbox of books. The coupon code is PamBarnhill. I forgot to mention that it's not case sensitive, but it is one word. So that's to get $30 off your book and talk box together.
And then if you just want to start with the book, then the discount code is Pam Barnhill book, and that will get you $5 off. Okay. So two different coupon codes. The first one is Pam Barnhill and it gets you $30 off your box and book by October 2nd. And then after that, it gets you $20 off.
Or if you just want to start with the book, use the coupon code, PamBarnhillbook, and that gets you $5 off the book, no matter when you use it, did I get that right? Yes. It was very well said. It's hard to say that. Yeah. And we'll have it that on the show notes for you for this episode as well, we'll have links there for you to talk box.mom,and just a little kind of a written reminder what those coupon codes are to make it super easy on you.
Well, Adelaide, thank you so much for joining me today. It was awesome. Oh, thanks for having me. And I just, I am excited to see how far your family goes with Spanish. You guys are already off to such a good start.
It's just very exciting. Yeah. I'm excited too. It's I never thought I could learn so many new words in a new language at my age and it's working. So it's kind of fabulous. I'm pretty proud of myself. Shouldn't be good job.
There you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the resources that Adelaide and I chatted about in today's episode of the podcast, along with more details about that talkbox.com coupon code, you can go to the show notes for this episode. You'll find those pambarnhill.com/YMB54. We'll be back in a couple of weeks with another great morning time interview. Until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your home.

Key Ideas about Christmas Traditions and Morning Time

  • Mothers are in a unique position to teach language. They do it every day. One of the best ways to teach a foreign language is to use the same principles we already use in teaching our native language; use the language as much as we can,celebrate every attempt and encourage our children to keep trying even if they don’t say the word properly.
  • There are so many great ways to learn a foreign language in Morning Time. You can start by listening to your foreign language audio if you have it and practice saying the phrases. You can also listen to nursery rhymes in the language of your choice and then move up to Disney songs since you most likely already know what the song is about. Watching short “how to” videos on youtube is another way to get some foreign language practice in and when your confidence grows, watching movies you like in the new language is also a great way to practice.
  • Some people feel intimidated by the process of learning a second language. Most of the time this is because they may be embarrassed to try, or feel the need to be perfect in order to try. But instead of striving for perfection, look at language learning as something that is going to happen slowly over time when practiced consistently. Then, make a plan to incorporate it into your daily lessons and don’t get discouraged. Just keep trying and encouraging each other.
  • With Talkbox you will be able to mimic the same language learning experience that you already use. And you and your children will be able to learn the language together. And Morning Time is the perfect time in your homeschool to do it.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:22] meet Adelaide
  • [6:17] moms as the most natural teachers of language
  • [14:26] reasons to learn a foreign language
  • [19:50] Adelaide’s experience with teaching language to her children
  • [21:58] the magic window for language learning
  • [26:00] reasons learning a foreign language is intimidating
  • [28:30] where foreign language learning goes wrong
  • [36:01] the importance of hearing the language spoken by native speakers
  • [40:30] how Talkbox works and how to use it in Morning Time
  • [48:41] other ways to sneak foreign language learning in the school day

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    by Logandinco66 from United States

    This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.

  • Life giving!PinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPinPin