The Bilingual Ventriloquist
The trick is to entertain. How could any teacher be a success with children if they fail to entertain? To entertain is to engage, and once you have your audience / pupils engaged then they can really start learning. That is our goal!
If you have been using Speekee with your children before now, you’ll already understand that at the heart of it is a desire to entertain the viewer. Imagine if Speekee – which, let’s remember, is a video based learning system – were boring. Heaven forbid, and how we would have wasted those hundreds of hours in putting it together.
I came across an interesting story the other day about a bilingual ventriloquist, Canadian born Tim Holland. Now there’s a man who surely has to entertain or else ‘die on his feet’. The article tells us that Tim
saw the power of bilingualism firsthand when he took to the stage in Montreal. “I can do this show in French and it is really fun. All of the performers were speaking bilingually,” in both English and French, he said. “Everyone could enjoy the show together.”
Clearly Tim’s language skills are a feature of his performances. Here he is as Le Petit Chef (not so petit in truth!) speaking in English, with a French accent:
And here’s another show of his for children, this time in French:
Referring to a performance he did in Paris Tim tells us:
Now, “I can do this show in French and it is really fun,” he said. Further to this, learning French has helped him learn other languages, like Spanish. “A lot of the sounds and verb conjugations are very similar,” he said.
What better example of the open mind typically found among children’s entertainers. This bilingual ventriloquist is not only using the two languages he already knows, he’s working on a third.
I wonder if he’ll be incorporating Spanish into one of his upcoming shows. I wouldn’t put it past him – he’s clearly a brave man!
Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee®, the most comprehensive Spanish for kids learning program ever to appear online. Jim’s work includes this homeschool Spanish curriculum and this homeschool Spanish curriculum (not a misprint – he wrote two!) and this Primary School Spanish curriculum.
Jim began his Spanish learning journey in 1990. He has been a language teacher since 1994 and he lives in sunny southern Spain. He has two bilingual children. More…