Thursday, April 26

Boca Beth... bringing Spanish to life!

Several weeks ago, The Parent Blogger Network asked me if my family and I would like to review a children's language learning program. I've always felt that Bumper should learn at least one more language; it would benefit her education and employment opportunities and it would help her order drinks in all the fun countries. So when the opportunity to learn some Spanish presented itself, I jumped at the chance.

For the past few weeks, we have watched and listened to a children's series called the BOCA BETH Program. BOCA BETH is designed to help give babies and young children a head start in learning Spanish through fun activities and music.

I couldn't have better timed another children's DVD/CD review myself. The past month has brought the Bump family many, many sick days, which means we have watched many, many children's programs and videos.

The package we received from BOCA BETH included the musical CD My First Songs In Spanish, the DVD I Like Animals, a Boca Beth Coloring and Activity Book, a Boca puppet and a maraca. Bumper immediately took a shine to the maraca and the puppet made her laugh.

I like the content in the activity book. Simple drawings with the identifying word(s) in Spanish and English make up most of the book and there is a handy pronunciation guide in the back. In addition to the coloring book portion, it also includes a few games and puzzles for older children. Bumper, at 18 months, is too young to use this type of material but it will probably come in handy down the road. Letting her loose with crayons is very scary in a home-decorating kind of way.

We watched the DVD "I Like Animals" together. The DVD incorporates the usual method for bilingual vocabulary learning: hearing and seeing the words coupled with corresponding images to reinforce the new language. The vocabulary portions are coupled with children enthusiastically singing and dancing to songs.

Bumper responded with claps and laughs to certain parts of the DVD. She really loves the songs with children singing and dancing. She hasn't been overly interested in the voice-over parts where the Boca puppet talks about the animals in Spanish and English or the classroom session but each time a song starts up, her attention is focused on the TV.

I'm happy that the menu offers a song feature so we don't have to watch the entire show each time. It would have been nice to have a menu feature that allowed for all the songs to be played back-to-back instead of having to return to the menu at the end of each song.

After watching just the DVD for a few days, we started to listen to the CD. I prefer the CD to the DVD because Bumper is more active when listening to the CD songs. We dance, sing, and yell out loud to the songs (this really helped me learn the Spanish words). All the songs are set to familiar tunes and the lyrics are available on the product site. I can't say that I love listening to all the songs but they were all easy to learn which is important. The other important aspect is that Bumper likes the songs.

From using the CD and DVD for a few weeks, I've learned more than a few Spanish words. Most are basic words like counting to ten, colors, the days of the week, familiar greetings and manners. Knowing these words will make it easy to reinforce them with Bumper during our daily routine. In addition to the new vocabulary, I also have some songs stuck in my head that I'd like to forget but it's the price I've paid to know the difference between aquí and allí.

Bumper loves the songs and is interested in watching the children on the DVD. The all important "parroting" of words happened during songs. Her favorite words to repeat have been aquí (here), allí (there), and si (do I really need to translate that one?).

I'll say that parts of the program are an acquired taste but it's a taste that Bumper has definitely acquired and that is what is important to me.

All of these products can be found on the BOCA BETH official website and the CD and DVD can also be found on


something blue said...

My favourite Spanish word is caliente!

It is sad that I took five years of French classes and know more Spanish via that little explorer and her squirrel friend. Hola Tico.

Gabriella said...

Muy bueno Bumper e Mamabumper!!!!

MotherBumper said...

SBBlue - hot hot hot - I'd expect no less from one caliente lady (golly, I hope I translated that correctly)

Gabriella - Gracias conejito divertido

Gabriella said...

Wow, i had to stop at the gracias. I'm guessing that divertido means fun, as it's similiar in portuguese, but conejito? No clue!!!

nomotherearth said...

All I know how to say in Spanish is "I love you with all of my heart" and "where are the bathrooms". Very useful phrases, both.

Bloor West Mama said...

Thanks so much for posting about this, I am 'fluent' in spanish and are always looking for CD's and DVD's to help Isa learn the language. I will certainly take a look at them.