28 September 2013

YouTube, the Italian Language Teacher for Kids

If you have been living under a rock you may not know that I have an interest in the Italian language. What those of you who live out in the sunshine may not know is that I also sporadically attempt to teach this beautiful language to my daughters. Now I'm not a teacher. Nor am I a perfect speaker of my mother's mother tongue. But I do know that at their ages, the MissyMoos are like sponges and I don't want to miss this opportunity to expand their minds and have a bit of fun with something that is part of their heritage.

One of the most effective ways of opening the MissyMoos' ears up to the language of their Nonna is for them to hear it through media they already enjoy - DVDs of cartoons and kids' movies sent over by their Sicilian cousins are the main aids in a home within which English is spoken 99% of the time. CDs in the car are also great because a catchy tune played a few times over is easily remembered by little ones. You might be able to picture the wide smile on my face (and tear in my eye) when the other day, MissyMoo1 (6) started singing along to an Italian pop song on a CD in the car ... and with perfect pronunciation! This is the power of song!

Sometimes I like to mix things up a bit. This is the power of YouTube! Even clips the MissyMoos have on DVD seem more exciting when they're watched on YouTube.

Today I thought I'd share a few of our favourites with you.

"Non lo faccio piu" - this is from a cartoon series called Zecchino d'Oro. We have this on DVD, but they still ask to watch it on the computer:

"Mi Scappa la Pipì" - this one's a bit cheeky, but perfect humour for little kids:

"Pulcino Pio"- this is too fast for kids to sing along, but interesting with the different ways animal sounds are pronounced. We can also pause the video in parts to go through what each animal is called in Italian.

The other day we hit the jackpot: Peppa Pig! The MissyMoos learned the Italian word for "bubble". See, Peppa Pig is educational.

Bit by bit, they're picking up a word or two ... and having fun in the process!


  1. Wow that is cool - my kids ADORE Peppa Pig - if you kids do know two languages they'll be so stoked when they're older! x

  2. Yeah, absolutely. I'm so glad I learned to speak other languages - just want to keep it up a little more in everyday life!

  3. I love "Mi Scappa la Pipì" It's so funny and cheeky! My hubby's dad is also from Sicily! I hope I will be able to teach my future children French.

  4. What a great idea ! Margaret (K's nanny) taught her Zulu when we were still living in South Africa and while she couldn't speak either English or Zulu - she could understand instructions in both - it was amazing to watch her listening to Margaret and then doing what she had asked.
    I hope that you are all enjoying the school holidays.
    Have the best day !

  5. Oh Peppa Pig is in Italian, that is sooooo cute. I hope the underlining adult humor is captured in Italian too!


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