Who We Are Professor Pocket® was created by a multicultural family with their own children in mind. Our bilingual (Spanish/English) musical CDs are designed to introduce a second language by engaging children through storytelling and song. We strive to produce musical CDs that have real staying power, ones that both children and adults can repeatedly enjoy.
How We Are Different Professor Pocket® takes a completely fresh approach to language introduction. Instead of bombarding listeners with vocabulary words, we seamlessly weave English and Spanish dialogue throughout our CDs and reinforce key concepts and vocabulary through songs. All of this is done from the perspective of our lovable, sometimes silly characters, Professor Pocket, Desi the Dinosaur and Chico the Chicken. Desi the Dinosaur and Chico the Chicken often sing and speak full sentences in Spanish to enable greater contextual understanding while Professor Pocket® ensures that everyone is following along by primarily speaking in English. Our catchy, original tunes and fun songs further engage listeners. Not only do our songs give children a chance to practice new Spanish pronunciations, but they also increase the likelihood of retention.
Why Use Our Product? Experts agree that the earlier you expose your children to additional languages, the better! Why? At a very early age, children start to prune away sounds that they do not hear regularly. Exposing children to additional languages early on builds a basis for proficiency later in life. In addition, children who are exposed to multiple languages often show superior cognitive skills, creative thinking, problem solving and math skills as well as broader global awareness.
About the Creators Paula Jorge Guglielmino and Nathalie Simmons Jorge started Professor Pocket® in January 2005 with the hope of empowering more families to raise their children bilingually. Dissatisfied with the existing bilingual children s products available, Nathalie and Paula (also sisters-in-law) joined forces to create products that would make the language learning process more fun for children and less intimidating for parents.
Nathalie and Paula co-wrote the script and lyrics for Professor Pocket® Our Silly Farm Adventure. They then hired a professional recording studio, actors, and musicians to create catchy melodies and produce a high-quality CD. Now they are working hard to promote the Professor Pocket® Our Silly Farm Adventure CD and are in the process of creating Professor Pocket's® second musical adventure!
Nathalie Simmons Jorge received her bachelor degree in mathematics from University of Virginia and her MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School (UNC-Chapel Hill). She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband Carlos and her two young children, Louis and Sophie.
Paula Jorge Guglielmino received her bachelor degree in sociology from University of California, San Diego and her MBA from Pepperdine University. Paula is a native Spanish speaker from Dominican Republic and lives with her husband and son in Long Beach, CA.
I realized this wasn't going to be a waste when I heard the voices - the characters weren't dried out, perfected, non-ethnic, acultural speakers. The dinosaurio (Desi) retained a strong accent in English, and had a natural, exuberant attitude. He had a *personality*. Cool. Chico the chicken (who we met at the farm a few minutes into the CD) has very lightly accented English, and a different personality. He's a bit less robust a character than Desi but still 'there'. Professor Pocket® has a very clear American accent in English, and is upbeat, positive, and kind - a bit on the overly cheerful side for reality, but appropriate to the role she plays, and not in a grating way, more of a 'man, I wish I was that happy and patient all the time!' way.
Then the music started. The musicians are very good, and there are a variety of instruments involved. The diction in the talking and singing varies from 'natural and at speed,' to 'clear-as-a-bell,' which I think is appropriate - immersion tends to deal with everyday use of the language including blending of sounds from word to word. Still, there's enough clarity here to be able to pick out the words and repeat them. The children chiming in aren't perfectly in time or perfectly clear, but again, that is probably more useful than problematic. They felt real, rather than over-coached. Okay, so far, so good!
My next degree of skepticism evaporated when I glanced over and saw my husband's fingers drumming along on the steering wheel. This wasn't going to be painful to listen to over and over. Woo!
Somewhere along the way, the kids started laughing in response to the story. Cracking up, falling over in their seats laughing. Somewhere else along the way, I found myself car-dancing along to the music. The kids demanded to see the CD case, and looked for the characters they were hearing about. The oldest (almost 10) read every word on the case (minimal text), and seemed interested - something I wasn't sure would happen, and would certainly stop if he felt the content was aimed below his level. Later, one of the twins (almost 3 years old) chirped from the back seat, 'They saying, Ay, Carumba!' and giggled.
On the way home, the almost-6-year-old asked us to turn the CD on again, and turn it UP (again). And again, the whole set of them (and us) listened. They stayed engaged. They laughed, squealed, and bounced in their seats. They tried out a few of the phrases and terms on each other. There was more car dancing.
The story is simple, but organic rather than being too linear, which means it isn't boring. It was enough to keep me engaged, as an adult. Small tangents pop up in the story line, usually funny or silly ones, just enough to prevent a formulaic pattern and allow some more personality to show. In the course of the CD, they introduce colors, numbers, verb conjugation, farm-related terms, words that have nothing at all to do with the farm, and sentence structure that differs from English. All those concepts are not explained, they just happen. While listening, our kids started asking questions about the words, about the things that were happening, and about other things outside the CD's scope that they'd made connections to in their minds. The oldest (almost 10) mentioned a movie with Flamenco and Latin dancing. The second (almost 6) mentioned the other word for brown that he knows, and began listing off the other words he remembers in Spanish. And the almost-3-year old twins both said 'mas rapido!' on the way into the house when we got home... and they knew what it meant. We hadn't even made it through the CD twice yet! --Heather Petit, Writer, Parent Hacks
I speak Spanish fluently, and I am always saying that there is a need for better audio products for children whose parents would like for them to learn a second (or third, fourth?) language. My life opportunities grew exponentially when I learned Spanish, not to mention my respect for and understanding of the dozens of Spanish-speaking cultures worldwide. I was thrilled also to hear a CD that is based on sound early learning practices. Your child will not only enjoy the story and the music, but will learn quickly, because the language is presented using techniques that only an educator would recognize as effective. --Jennifer Jones, Ph.D., LearnGarden, Founder & CEO
Professor Pocket is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has been honored by this distinguished award. --Mom's Choice Awards