Raising trilinguals with internet radio

Posted by

They say the best things in life are free. Let’s see: air for breathing, sunlight for seeing, and music in the air in the form of radio waves. It’s all down to taste, though, whether Justin Bieber is one of the best things in life. Luckily, you can choose from quite a few radio stations and this is especially true with internet radio.

Turning on the radio without hearing a Justin Bieber song is like discovering the Wow! signal.

The thing I use internet radio for the most these days is getting my children some passive exposure to my native language. My wife and I both have to make every effort we can in teaching them our languages because my language is not my wife’s language is not the language of the country we live in. So, whether the children are drawing or playing quietly with toys, their ears remain available for listening and I try to make use of that. I have one favourite internet radio channel which plays children’s music in my language.

Now don’t worry if you think that listening to internet radio means that you have to get the laptop out, go to some obscure website, install the Microsoft® Silverlight® plugin (shiver) and hope that the stream downloads nicely.. Oh no! For many years, there has been a nifty and free service that let’s you stream things easily. It’s called TuneIn radio and when I first came across them many years ago I was immediately impressed. Nowadays, they have a hugely popular five-star app for streaming internet radio from your mobile phone. The app lets you browse by category, language, region, etc. They really have something for everyone, including podcasts.

Of course, the whole experience becomes even better when you play that music over your Bluetooth® speaker! This enables you to set up your radio in the exact room your kids are playing in. Also, there’s probably a good reason why all of the best things in life are wireless.