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Multilingual music & education for adults & children to explore languages & linguistics 🌍🎶 Sing, learn & love languages together.

Babel Babies

United Kingdom
Founded in 2011, Babel Babies offers parents/early years settings with children from birth to age 5 the chance to learn languages together. Songs and stories in ten different languages are at the heart of our sessions, where we explore the globe with multilingual mascot Croc Monsieur, enjoying puppets, parachutes, bubbles and books on our linguistic adventures. Sing languages together!
Introduction

Join the little language revolution!

Cate Hamilton, Founder and Director
“I’m delighted to see my own children (and others I’ve worked with) growing in curiosity about the languages around them. Being linguists is becoming part of their identity, which is wonderful.”

Cate Hamilton, Founder and Director

What we do?

Babel Babies runs award-winning multilingual, multisensory music and story sessions, where parents (and early years settings) with children from birth to age 7 learn languages together. We have created a method of enjoying the language-learning process, and rather than focusing on attainment in a single language as in most monolingual methods, we explore the connections and human transactions between languages. This gives everyone the metalinguistic skills to learn any language, and in turn helps with literacy in English too because it raises language awareness. Our multilingual music is available for download worldwide on Spotify, iTunes, etc. and we have a carefully-curated selection of language-related products and picture books in foreign languages available in our online shop to support families and settings wishing to create a multilingual environment.

Why we do it?

Founder Cate Hamilton was a secondary school French and English teacher and had experienced the apathy that teenagers showed towards learning anything at all about languages if they didn't see how it related to them directly. And then, as a new mum, she saw that babies are primed and ready to absorb language from birth. However, as an English-speaking family in the UK, it felt unusual to speak French to her new baby and since Cate also speaks Italian and Portuguese, she wanted to transmit a love of all these languages. Together with Ruth Ahmedzai, a German, Russian and Arabic to English translator, she came up with the idea to explore lots of languages and Babel Babies was born. After lots of research to work out whether babies will get confused when exposed to multiple languages (they won't!), we are now confident that singing languages is a brilliant way to foster a love of languages in young children, and builds confidence in adults to explore languages too, even if they are not linguists or native speakers. Everyone is somewhere on the language-learning journey and you can learn languages together, making the process explicit to children.

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Innovation Overview
ALL
Target Group
2 000
Children/Users
36
Countries
2011
Established
For-profit
Organisation
280
Views
Tips for implementation
You can join the little language revolution anywhere in the world by incorporating songs and stories in different languages, or translations of world children's literature, into your everyday routines. If you're not sure where to find the music, Babel Babies has two albums on Spotify, iTunes et al.
Contact information
Cate Hamilton
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01
Make a multilingual playlist
Hop over to Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music et al, and make a multilingual playlist of your favourite songs in lots of languages.
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02
Build a babel bookshelf
Explore languages through familiar stories in foreign languages, or find new stories from around the world in translation.
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03
Play with languages
Incorporate a bit of language into your everyday games and collect language-related toys to play with together.
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04
Create a language-friendly environment
Whether at home or in an educational setting, you can make a multilingual environment through decoration and discussion.
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05
Learn languages together
Most of all, model the language-learning process yourself and have fun!
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