Hi, I'm Judy Martialay. I live in Sea Cliff, N.Y. with my husband. My daughters are grown up. I have a toddler granddaughter.
I have lots of interests; I am a guitar jammer, a painter, gardener, knitter, volunteer, and I love to cook (but have to watch my sugar). I studied Japanese, but had to give that up when my Japanese friend with whom I exchanged lessons moved away.
I retired from teaching foreign /world languages, and now I devote time and energy to advocacy for foreign language study for the Public Advocacy Committee of the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT).
Foreign language learning is an uphill battle in the English-speaking countries. I think, though, that more parents are becoming aware of the many benefits of being bilingual, and they want their kids to learn languages.
I wrote the books ¡HOLA! Let's Learn Languages and Bonjour! Let's Learn French because I want every child to have the opportunity to learn a world language at an early age. This is the best time to start learning a language. Children's brains are wired for learning languages. They have a better chance for acquiring native pronunciation, and they have ample time to become truly proficient in the language.
I often hear the comment from teachers of young children:" Children absorb languages like sponges."
My granddaughter hears Spanish every day; she has an au pair girl who speaks to her in Spanish. She understands everything.
I want children and their parents to enjoy the experience of learning languages. It is an adventure into the soul of another world.
If your child continues study of a language, he or she will have a skill that will provide life-long benefits.