At gray tortuga, we believe that the best gift you can give your child is the gift of another language. Research shows that children who learn more than one language increase the gray-matter in their left inferior parietal cortex (the cool region in our brains responsible not just for speech but self-control and emotions). The earlier children begin learning another language and the more literate they become, the greater the impact on the structure of their brains. For a summary of the benefits of learning another language (which range from cognitive flexibility, social & emotional, academic success, and global mindset) see the benefit.
Being a parent is time consuming. It is often difficult to find the right resources to introduce language at home and there are many external factors to consider especially if you yourself do not speak another language. For a summary of your child's language journey during the critical language learning years from birth to age 11, see the journey.
gray tortuga is a ‘one stop shop’ of resources and multilingual products for parents interested in giving their children the gift of another language. We are a platform for educators, artists, and small companies to highlight their products and ideas. We launched in July 2018 with an initial set of curated and created multilingual language products. We are actively searching out the best products to add to our site and building a 'suggestion engine' to advise you on the best products for you based on the language of interest, age of your children, and language fluency.
We are currently focused on Spanish and simplified Mandarin. There are so many languages to love (Bulgarian, Hindi, German, Korean, Flemish, Farsi, and French just to name a few). And science tells us that children's brains benefit from learning a new language, any language. We chose to start with Spanish and Mandarin given the number of people in the USA and around the world who speak them. Check out the languages for a look at these two languages.
At gray tortuga we ourselves are a group of educators, parents, designers, engineers, artists, and human beings dedicated to enriching multilingual education in our homes, our communities, and around the world. The photos on our website feature real parents, real educators, and real children learning Spanish and Mandarin alongside English. We look forward to helping you and your own little gray tortuga begin the journey of learning another language. If you speak Spanish or Mandarin - great! If you don't, no problem. We are here to help.