bambolango – a place in Valencia where the whole family can learn a second language together.
Deborah, the founder of bambolango, gives us some more insights about how this works.
About me, Deborah Sigler…
¡Hola! ¡Soy Deborah! I was born and raised in London, U.K. by my British father and Colombian mother. In 2004 I decided to move abroad to Valencia to enjoy the culture, language and climate. I’m bilingual in English (my mother tongue) and Spanish, and can understand Catalán and Valenciano quite well, along with a smidgen of French.
About a million years ago, I worked as a Human Resources consultant in national and multinational organisations for almost a decade. I partnered with numerous clients, in different countries, and worked on many different people-based projects. But when my children were born, an idea formed in my mind, and I took some time out to stay at home and to start researching what is today bambolango.
When we started our family, my partner and I agreed that we would each speak our mother tongue to our children (English and Catalán). We chose what is known as the “OPOL” approach – one person one language. And while this works well in our household, there are a number of other systems that exist that may work better for different families.
We’ve encountered a number of language related challenges along the way and we’ve devised or adapted different strategies to overcome them. I’m determined to continue increasing my little ones’ exposure to English, their minority language, to ensure they feel comfortable using it. And I’m constantly thinking of exciting and engaging ways to help them. And all of this personal experience, together with my bilingual abilities and professional background, have really helped give direction to bambolango…
So, it’s fair to say that bambolango was born as a result of my own multilingual family’s experience. With my eldest child, we discovered early on that there were very few bilingual resources that could be used with little ones from birth. The majority of materials on the market are aimed at toddlers or older kids, with a more complex and unsuitable content for babies. And this inspired me to design our own resources, with the help of another member of our multilingual family! We now have a whole series of bilingual English-Spanish products, called the “Aventuras Series”, for sale in our online shop.
Furthermore, we also encountered an obstacle in terms of the parent-baby activities that were on offer. At the time, there were very few workshops or classes that we could attend together, and we struggled to find suitable structured activities to enjoy as a family. And this is one of the reasons that bambolango also runs activities for babies/ toddlers and their grown-ups!
Another thing that inspired us to start our activities was our aim to accompany other families on their multilingual journey. Some of the families who join us in our activities are already raising their children in more than one language. Others are just starting to introduce English into their baby’s life. Some are even bringing their little ones up using a language that isn’t their mother tongue. But we all have one thing in common: a passion for fun and for languages.
One of our main aims, therefore, is to help little ones acquire a second language through fun activities. We want them to play, enjoy themselves, discover, imagine and create… while being exposed the entire time to another language. So, as you can see, bambolango offers more than just a methodology to learn languages, because we have lived and breathed bilingualism all our lives. Our motto in is: it’s not about teaching, it’s about having fun in different languages!
More about bambolango’s activities and products…
In our extra-curricular activities, we offer 30 or 45 minutes of fun in English at a convenient time, usually right after school/nursery. In these sessions, each child is accompanied by a relative or carer who also joins in our specially designed activities. In bambolango, we believe that taking part in our activities as a family allows you to grow and learn together in a second language. It also gives you the opportunity to strengthen the bond between you by spending quality time together. We want you to have fun. Together. As a family, in our extracurricular activities carried out in the language you aim to acquire.
We also offer activities to children enrolled in nurseries or preschools during class time. Our sessions are carried out 100% in the language to be acquired and we design our activities in line with each preschool’s own programme. We therefore offer each centre a personalised, innovative and fun approach to English language acquisition. And by aligning our programme to each preschool’s own programme, we are able to reinforce the topics and values taught by each nursery. It also allows us to react and adapt our planning quickly to meet any spontaneous and specific needs that may arise.
We design and run tailor-made language workshops to help little ones acquire a second language. We partner with different types of organisations (such as nurseries, language schools, summer schools, etc.), and this allows us to work together to create and carry out specific, exclusive and fun workshops 100% in the language to be acquired.
Bilingual books, games and posters
Each and every one of the resources for children that bambolango has created includes simple, bilingual texts. This aims to encourage you to speak to your little ones in the language to be acquired and thereby increase exposure and interaction.
Our resources in the “Aventuras” series are fun, attention grabbing, colourful and good for early visualisation. The illustrations are based on important cultural and geographical landmarks, as well as traditions or celebrations from the UK and Spain. This enables both grown-ups and little ones to have some context and background while acquiring the languages spoken in these countries.
Where you can learn more about bambolango…
And please find below our social media profiles, where you can keep up-to-date on all our activities, events, and much more:
Twitter: @bambolango www.twitter.com/bambolango