My name is Alex and I live in the UK with my Italian husband, GL, and our two young children – M and N. I started Lil’ollo after struggling to find well-designed bilingual products – we weren’t looking for academic resources; just beautiful and fun games, cards and posters we could use as part of our language learning adventure. Lil’ollo is an ongoing project in collaboration with teachers, speech and language therapists, and families on very different language learning journeys from our own and in different parts of the world.
I’m delighted to be finally writing the first Lil’ollo blog post. We set sail on this voyage almost a year ago and it has been great fun so far. There have been times when I have doubted my sanity on setting such a big project free with a small baby and a toddler in tow, but I am glad that I did. I have had, and still have, a lot to learn – both about how to run a business from home and to fit it around our family, as well as about how to best create products that will help more children and families enjoy learning languages together.
Although I had thought I would start writing here sooner, it has been really helpful to have some time to grow into the company a little and to connect with so many of you around the world. M and N are now three and one, and some days fitting everything in has been very challenging (there are some conflicting ideas about how stock should be managed for example). However, building a business that they can be part of and benefit from is a real joy.
Lil’ollo isn’t just me – it is the sum of lots of amazing people who help out on a regular basis or lend their guidance and support whenever they can. In future posts I will tell you all about the wonderful people that make up Team Lil’ollo. If you would like to get involved, please contact us! We would love to hear from you.
I have found researching bilingualism and language learning in children fascinating! It also gives me a lot of hope for the future. Research had previously been focused on children who are fully exposed to two or more languages, which is great if you are bilingual yourself or have children with someone who speaks a different language (a fast growing number of us apparently). But what if you don’t speak a second language and want to get started with your young family? The good news is even a small amount of exposure to a second language can be beneficial and learning together is great for you as a parent, carer or teacher too.
My dream with Lil’ollo is to help more young children and families enjoy learning languages together. Learning is a life-long process and, if the early building blocks are fun and enjoyable, we’re more likely to keep going with a second language as we grow when we have those positive associations. This is true whether you are speaking several languages fluently at home already or starting from the beginning together.
We have so many plans and ideas for Lil’ollo and our blog is just the start! I’m so happy to have you along for the journey with us. You can contact me any time via the contact form of the website or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.