November 22nd, 2016
Certain sounds are difficult to pronounce in French. The vowel combination "ui" can be a tricky one for English speakers. To pronounce "ui", you should pucker your mouth like you’re going to say "u" but quickly say "we" instead. Monique from France has recorded some words with the "ui" combination for us. You can listen […]
November 15th, 2016
Monique from France recorded a few words for us in French that are difficult to pronounce. You can find the words below with their meanings followed by a recording. 1. Bouilloire – Kettle 2. Accueillir – To welcome or greet 3. Serrurerie – Ironwork 4. Verrerie – Glasswork 5. Cueillir – To gather, pick or […]
June 8th, 2016
Home Language has some great videos for intermediate to advanced students to help you improve your French. Patricia from the site Parlez-vous Français covers tricky aspects of the French language such as when to use the subjunctive tense, which idiomatic expressions are widely used, when to use en versus y. The list goes on… As […]
June 4th, 2015
Playing real video games for fun is a great way to improve your foreign language skills. I’m talking about games you’d want to play in your own language, not specifically language learning games. There are many fun games that are available in many different languages. I’m an early advanced French learner, so I understand enough […]
May 29th, 2015
Flashcards are a good way to pick up new vocabulary in a foreign language. It’s good to use them as a supplement to other resources, because if you only use flashcards, you’ll get bored very quickly! There are three flashcard apps I’ve been using over the past couple of months to help expand my French […]
April 1st, 2015
We’ve just started Mama Lisa’s French Facebook Group to discuss all things French! This group is for people who love French and would like to learn more about the language and culture. We’ll share French learning resources. We welcome recipes and traditions. We’d love to discuss French books, music and movies and other items of […]
March 26th, 2014
Math as it’s taught in schools in the US has become needlessly complicated. When we were kids, we learnt very straightforward ways to do Math. Nowadays, parents may find it hard to even help their 1st graders because the methods are so confusing. I recently came upon a great site called Mathisfun.com while helping my […]
February 22nd, 2014
Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. The Día! Diversity in Action 2014 Celebration is fast approaching, have you registered your program yet? Register your Día Celebration in the 2013 Día National Program Registry to build a national database that showcases all types and […]
February 11th, 2014
Pascal from Frenchy Bunny shared some creative language learning tips with us. You can read them below… I’m a self-taught guy, and I’ve learnt English with colors. No one ever suggested it to me, but I invented this trick to learn faster and make things easier and more fun. For learning vocabulary, I underlined nouns […]
February 4th, 2014
Believe it or not one tool I’ve found to help language learning is Facebook. Which is nice because so many people are already members. If you’re a Facebook member and want to improve your knowledge of a language, I have two ideas for you: 1. Join Facebook Groups or Pages in your target language. For […]
September 9th, 2013
Play the Great Language Game by trying to identify some eighty languages by their sound alone. It’s very challenging. Check it out!
April 17th, 2013
Monique was here visiting from France for the past two weeks and we worked on creating Spanish and French versions of our books and apps. (They should be available soon.) Here’s a link to our current books and apps.
French Pronunciation is a site that helps you improve your French pronunciation. You can listen to recordings of the sounds you find difficult to pronounce and then practice along with them.
January 8th, 2013
Here’s a video with a song explaining onomatopoeias… one of the coolest types of words out there!
September 11th, 2012
Here’s a 3 minute video for kids about the 8 secrets to success. Psst… here’s what they are… Passion (do it for love, not money) Hard Work Get Good at It Push (through self doubt, etc.) Serve Others Something of Value Ideas Focus Persistence (through failure, etc.) (Warning: There’s one bad word used at the […]
September 1st, 2012
Here’s a short video about different sounds instruments make from around the world… Enjoy! Mama Lisa
June 19th, 2012
It can be difficult to roll your R’s when speaking in Spanish. This video gives some great tips to get those R’s a-rolling! Enjoy! Mama Lisa
May 7th, 2012
The French Song, Alphabet des Scouts (Scouts Alphabet) is perfect to help you learn how to pronounce the names of the letters in French. You can hear it at the link above and read along with the French lyrics. There are also English and Spanish translations of the song. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
April 4th, 2012
Most kids in the US have to learn where all the 50 states are at some point in elementary school. My daughter had to learn them for a test this week. We tried apps for the iPad and Android to help her learn them. None of the ones we found were very helpful. So we […]
March 15th, 2012
Here’s a song called "Brother Come and Dance with Me" from a Librivox rendition of Hansel and Gretel. You can replace "brother" with "children" (or a child’s name). This little song and dance can help children learn coordination and how to distinguish left from right. MP3 of Brother Come and Dance with Me Come and […]
March 14th, 2012
Happy Pi Day! Pi is the mathematical constant π which represents the ratio of any circle to its diameter. This number is approximately 3.14. Today is 3/14 and that’s why it’s held today. You can celebrate pi day by eating some pie! Bon appetit! Mama Lisa
February 17th, 2012
Open Culture has a page of free language learning links covering 40 languages. Here are some of the languages you can find links for… Arabic, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, Gaelic, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maori, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swahili, […]
January 27th, 2012
A while ago, I talked about how my daughter’s class made drawings illustrating the literal meanings of idiomatic expressions. This is a great way to help children, and people learning English as a second language, to understand these sayings.. One drawing my daughter did was an illustration of the expression "follow your nose". "Follow your […]
November 23rd, 2011
To celebrate Thanksgiving this year in school, my daughter’s 5th grade class invited their families to an event called "Poetry and Pie". Instead of the traditional little Thanksgiving meal in class, the kids read poems and afterwards served seasonal pies to their families. Each kid chose their own poem to read. They practiced reciting their […]
March 29th, 2011
A while back, Monique Palomares told me how she went to see a show held by a scribe museum in France about the old pens that used to be used in school. She remembers using them! Here’s what she wrote about it… The show reminded me of when I was a child and someone would […]
March 2nd, 2011
Emanuela Marsura is a preschool teacher in Italy. She wrote to me about how her students cook in her school: "We do cooking every Friday. We have prepared: gnocchi with potatoes, taralli napoletani, cakes and many biscuits! The Children love Friday!" Cooking is a great opportunity for kids to learn… they measure the ingredients (learning […]
February 1st, 2011
The other day I posted the rhyme for helping remember the number of days in each month. Interestingly, one friend from France and another friend who was born in Hong Kong mentioned a knuckle trick for remembering. There are different versions of the knuckle trick, but evidently it’s used around the world. You can see […]
November 24th, 2010
You can now listen to and read My Very First Little German Book online or download them onto your computer. The book and recording are both in German and English. The book has nice little illustrations. View the 1st two pages of the book by clicking on the image above. The book includes a little […]
November 12th, 2010
8 x 7 = ? Parents, teachers and students are always looking for new ways to help kids learn their Math Facts, especially the multiplication table. Here’s a recording Marisa did with some tricks she uses to help her with the trickier multiplication facts she has to know. They’re those numbers in the middle that […]
November 7th, 2010
In the US, we have a test called the SAT that you take as part of the process for getting into college. American parents out there might not realize that the test has changed. There are now three parts to the standard SAT: Reading, Math and Writing (with an Essay section). You can score up […]
November 2nd, 2010
French Self-Taught, by Franz J. L. Thimm (1905) was just posted on Librivox with mp3 recordings. (You can listen to it streaming on Internet Archive if you prefer a player.) You can also read the book online while playing the recordings in the background. The recordings are broken down by chapter on subjects ranging from […]
October 19th, 2010
Every year our grammar schools have a Read-In. Each child can bring a parent or other special adult. The adults bring books and a blanket to sit on (like a picnic!) The whole school stops everything and the adults read to small groups of kids all around the school… in classrooms, in the hallway, etc. […]
October 18th, 2010
It’s nice to be able to help your children with their homework. My daughter is getting some difficult vocabulary words this year. She’s having trouble remembering them, so I decided to make quick illustrations to go with each word. I think she remembers visually, so hopefully this will help. The important thing is to do […]
September 29th, 2010
In my last post, I discussed how great it is to read books in foreign languages on the Kindle (an electronic device for reading). You can look up words in the other language in the middle of reading a passage. In order to do this you have to buy a foreign language dictionary for the […]
The Kindle is an Electronic device for reading books. In my previous post I talked about the Kindle and explained why I love reading on it. The Kindle works well for reading in foreign languages. I love reading in French, but the drawback is the time it takes to look up unknown words. If you […]
September 28th, 2010
I just got a Kindle and I love it! The Kindle is a hand-held electronic device used for reading books electronically. That means you can bring many books around with you. The newest edition holds about 15,000 books. You can also put magazine articles on it to read. Here’s what I love about it: […]
August 4th, 2010
Here’s a video of Rahim AlHaj from Iraq playing a musical instrument called the Oud. The Oud is a string instrument that’s pear shaped. It’s used in Middle Eastern music. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
July 30th, 2010
Librivox just released another bunch of recordings of fairy tales in various languages, including Hungarian, Russian, German, English, Italian and Portuguese (with links to the text of each tale). This is the 3rd collection they’ve posted. Fairy Tale Collection #1 also includes recordings in Latvian, Danish, Romanian, Yiddish and French. You can also check out […]
June 23rd, 2010
Our library has a wonderful reading club every summer. This type of program is great to help keep kids from losing ground in their reading level while they’re off from school. The kids read about 10 books over 6 weeks. They go to the library to report on each book. Reporting on the book is […]
June 16th, 2010
The main entrance to a shrine in Japan. “The kanji on the stone on the left side says ‘Hirohata Hachiman Jinja’.” -Shintaro Yesterday, we posted some photos of Japan from Shintaro Tominaga, including the one above. It shows the entrance to a shrine. The kanji text on the stone near the entrance says, “Hirohata Hachiman […]
May 20th, 2010
Nyango sent me this song from Cameroon, Africa that’s about the shape of Italy. Here’s what she wrote: “…wondering if I had given you this song we learn as children in Cameroon during Geography. It goes; The shape of Italy is admittedly Often described as the shape of a boot The shape of Italy is […]
March 26th, 2010
Lucy sent me a great link for lesson plans for world music. Here’s what she wrote: Lisa, Your fabulous website has been an invaluable resource for me this year, as friends and I have been running weekly ’round the world’ school workshops in music, drama and art. In fact, your website is the first I […]
February 4th, 2010
I’m going into my daughter’s class this week to talk about some Japanese Festivals. It may be helpful to other people who are also covering this topic for me to outline what I’m covering with links to more material. 1) Hina Matsuri – Doll Festival – March 3rd – people pray for their daughters’ future […]
October 28th, 2009
Here’s some Halloween artwork my daughter and her friends did this week. I thought you might enjoy seeing it to help get you in the mood for Halloween! “Bones” by Lila “Skeleton” by Lila… “Witch” by Sarina “Graveyard” by Melisa “Graveyard II” by Melisa “R.I.P.” by Marisa Have a Spooky Fun Halloween! Mama Lisa
September 29th, 2009
I clearly remember being seven years old and listening to Elton John’s rendition of the Beatle’s Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in my suburban backyard… Looking up at the sky and imagining a girl there, possibly me, floating with diamonds, a rainbow in the background (I guess due to the colorful imagery in the […]
June 8th, 2009
Hello songs are a wonderful way to help children who are learning a foreign language. It’s also nice for children to always sing the same song at the beginning of a class. Hello songs are great for this. The song below is called “Bonjour”. It’s a French hello song written and sung by Alain Le […]
May 31st, 2009
Many children love Raffi’s music! I’ve just discovered something wonderful on his site… Raffi’s Lyrics and Scores – which include his specific arrangements to many of the songs he sings. Enjoy! Mama Lisa
April 21st, 2009
The Spanish Wrangler sings really fun music for kids! The songs are mainly in English, but they’re peppered with Spanish words and phrases. Most of the songs tell a story – which children love. What a great way to expose kids to the Spanish language! The Wrangler’s music is cool. You feel like you’re sauntering […]
December 17th, 2008
Here are some new and old language tools worth mentioning… Speech Accent Archive – If you’d like to hear or study accents in English check out this site. People from all over the world recite a paragraph in English. Internet Slang Dictionary & Translator – also translates internet acronyms like lol Nice Translator – Uses […]
November 22nd, 2008
Beethoven wrote this piece in 1810. In English it means “For Elise”. Listen to Vi play it when he was 11 years old!
Please contribute a traditional song or rhyme from your country.
More about Learning...
With Our New Book 'Kid Songs Around The World'
Whoever the children are in your life - your kids, your grandkids, your students, even yourself (in your heart) - 'Kid Songs Around The World' is a wonderful way to help them experience other languages and cultures.
In 'Kid Songs Around The World' we've gathered 100 of our favorite songs and rhymes from all the continents of the globe.
Each song includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation, and most include sheet music. All include links to web pages where you can listen to recordings, hear the tune or watch a video performance. Each includes a beautiful illustration.
Many have commentary sent to us by our correspondents who write about the history of the songs and what they meant in their lives.
We hope this book will help foster a love of international children's songs!
New From Mama Lisa
Our new book, Kid Songs Around the World, features 100 beloved songs and rhymes from all parts of the globe. Each includes the full text in the original language, with an English translation. Most also include SHEET MUSIC and LINKS TO RECORDINGS AND VIDEOS.Order Here!