Foreign Language Curriculum for Elementary Aged Children
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Brilliant! Languages started out of one homeschool mother’s search for a German language curriculum for children that didn’t require reading or writing. It didn’t exist...

I wanted something that didn’t require reading or writing because I was not, and still am not, convinced that learning to read and write in a foreign language wouldn’t needlessly confuse my beginning reader. In German, for example, “die” is pronounced exactly opposite than it is pronounced in English. How could that not confuse a first grader?

Evidence clearly shows that learning a foreign language as young as possible is incredibly important to a child’s development and learning throughout their life. But how could I introduce another language without confusion? I knew that kids could separate them pretty well in speaking and listening but when they were already struggling with reading English, I just couldn’t do it. Hence the print-free language learning quest.

There were a few German programs for children but they were not a ready-made curriculum that I could just open and teach on a school day. Most were only really for exposing children to German but not really for teaching them German. And the few that were long enough to use as a curriculum were reading and writing dependent. There was nothing that would suit my needs.

Since I had studied several languages myself and had taught English in Europe, I used my experience to develop my own German language program for my son. It was an ad hoc effort, using many different programs and instructing and supplementing with my own knowledge to round out the effort. It was a lot of work but my son’s German ability increased significantly each year.

For three years, I cobbled together lessons for my oldest son as he began German language study in kindergarten during our homeschool time together. Then my daughter finished kindergarten and as I looked at the cobbled together first grade lessons I had used for my son I knew, with two more coming up the pipeline behind the kindergartner (and possibly another bun waiting to be put in the oven), it would be more efficient to sit down and write an actual curriculum that I could reuse for the next two (or three!).

But while writing, I wondered, “Are there other homeschool moms out there that could use this?”

So Brilliant! Languages was born.