Saturday, April 26, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Watching German DVDs

German movies and TV shows are a wonderful way to increase the amount of German input your children receive. One of the most frequent questions I get from people is how to watch German DVDs.

Multi-Region Required
First, you must be aware that most (95%?) of all German DVDs require a multi-region DVD player. (For more technical information on all this multi-region stuff, see DVD Regions Explained) The good news is that you may be able to convert your own player to multi-region, if you don't mind a little research. has "hacks" or instructions for many DVD players on how to "unlock" the multi-region capability for your DVD player. It all depends on the player - some are easy to do, some are harder, and some can't be changed.

If you don't want to update your own player, maybe your computer can play the DVDs! Most computer DVD players will play Region 2 (which is Europe) DVDs. The catch is that you have to switch between regions when you play different DVDs and the number of times you may switch is limited. This isn't a problem if you designate the computer as German (Region2) only. If you still want to be able to switch without limitation, you can install software which will bypass the region setting entirely. I use VideoLan for this purpose. It's not super-intuitive to use but it does the job.

In case none of the above options works for you, I do sell a multi-region DVD player on my website.

So grab some German episodes of Sendung mit der Maus, Biene Maja, Harry Potter and the like and have fun! It's an easy way to increase German exposure in your home.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Suggestions for Adult Learners

I frequently hear from adults who are learning German and are looking to use children's books as an addition to their studies. What a great idea! Children's books can be quite simple and are often more interesting and more affordable than materials written for German as a foreign language (DaF). Here are some suggestions for adults learning German.

A wonderful little book for people of all ages - simple and thoughtful, funny and sweet. An excerpt: Ich erfreue mich an den kleinen Dingen des Lebens... und natürlich auch an den großen.

See you - im nächsten Sommer. A German - English story
(Not very simple but the switching between German and English might make it possible for you to follow the story and it would be more interesting than a much simpler book. There are also 2 other books in this genre.

Bobo Siebenschläfer
Very simple stories written for toddlers. A good way to pick up everyday vocabulary. Sample pages on the website.

German Reader Set Level 1 (3 Books)
Books for beginning readers - these are fairly simple and would offer good practice.

Leseleuchte Winnie Puuh. Alles macht Musik. Level 1
A simple storybook

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Multilingual Living Magazine

The latest issue of Multilingual Living Magazine is available online, including the first few pages for free.

Some of the articles:
  • The multiple benefits of multilingualism! You won't believe how many benefits there are!
  • Balanced multilingual? Is it possible? Is it something to strive toward?
  • Dual language program - Find out how you can start your own or at least help your school district get one going.
  • A grandmother's perspective - what one grandmother of trilinguals has to say about raising children in more than one language.
Visit the Bilingual / Bicultural Family Network today for this inspiring magazine as well as a host of other resources for bilingual families.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

OPOL4US: 7 Language Strategies

A nice, in-depth discussion on language strategies used by bilingual families. Even though there aren't that many different permutations of language use for bilingual families, I always like to hear how others work it out.