Julia Wang left her job as product manager at American Express to become a stay-at-home mom in 2012. After her first daughter was born, Wang decided she wanted to raise her to speak Mandarin Chinese and English so she would be able to communicate with her grandparents who emigrated from Taiwan in the 1980’s and are more comfortable speaking in their native tongue.
In 2015 when her daughter turned two, Wang was unable to find a resource that could hold her daughter’s attention and teach her Chinese, so she decided to create a program that was both fun and educational. She developed Jamma Jango, a foreign language learning program for kids ages 0 to 7, and became momprenuer.
“My passion has always been in developing and managing innovative products, so it felt natural for me to merge my enthusiasm for product development, my love for languages and my aspiration to teach my kids Chinese into my own business,” Wang said.
Wang sees opportunities to learn foreign languages as a way to fine-tune children’s other learning skills at an early age. That is something she says parents who buy her product also find beneficial.
“Most of my buyers are parents with younger children, and a lot of them aren’t even parents who can speak a second language. Most parents are just like me that wanted to give their children as many opportunities as they could to help them grow and get a head start on their education. They understand that there are so many cognitive benefits that come with learning a second language,” Wang said. “It’s not just the academic benefit that they get as far as getting a head start, but beyond that there are also so many other benefits of learning a second language like strengthening their listening skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills.”
Each $54 Jamma Jango kit includes an interactive DVD, where characters Ippy, Van Go Go and Kaylo use vocabulary, a parent-child discussion guide, flashcards, a workbook and interactive sticker worksheets.
“Jamma Jango is more than just a supplemental language tool,” Wang said. “I created this brand to provide a fun learning experience that brings the family together to bond, play and learn collectively.
“Nowadays, children can get distracted with all the technology that’s out there. As a mom, I wanted Jamma Jango to provide activities for children and parents to sit down and interact with each other. They can watch the videos, play games and learn a new language as a family.”
Between her own daughters’ learning and the progress she’s seen with her friends’ children, Wang believes her language program is easy for children to process.
“I’m very proud to say that my oldest daughter is fluent in both Chinese and English. She has no problem switching back and forth between both languages. She’s also learning Spanish at the same time, which is amazing,” Wang said. “A lot of my other friends who have young children around the same age are also doing the program and they get really excited watching it.
“I can tell that [the kids] already started picking up on the words or the phrases in the cartoon very quickly because kids are like sponges. They learn very easily and they can learn multiple languages at a time rather quickly.”
Currently the kits are offered in “intro” level Spanish and Chinese. However Wang is developing the next kit for each language to accommodate demand.
“This is our first introductory kit. Eventually my hope is to create more boxes to develop more activities and more videos for the kids to learn more Spanish and Chinese. Eventually the curriculum will become more and more advanced as the child grows,” Wang said. “I’m currently developing box two, which will focus on numbers, colors and shapes. I’m really excited to bring more language opportunities to my audience.”