I’m so excited to welcome Barbara’s guest post on my blogsite. Here is hoping that the UK mums and dads will find these tips useful in teaching their little ones Spanish as well as the US ones…
3 fun ways to learn Spanish for kids by Barbara Mascareno
Learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to improve the language skills in children. There are many ways to introduce a second language to kids: formal language classes, immersion courses, and private tutorials. But these methods are not the only ones to teach children Spanish. When it comes to learning Spanish for kids, it can be a very rewarding experience for parents and their children.
Many of the educational approaches to introduce a new language to children are already at home. Picture books, word games, and music are some of the simplest ways to incorporate Spanish as part of the learning process.
What are some easy ways parents can educate kids about Spanish?
Picture Reference Books
Dictionaries as picture books are wonderful tools to help children recognize Spanish characters and letters. Many of these reference books are easy to read with simple words to pronounce in Spanish. For early readers, one-syllable words are easily associated with a picture in the book. In fact, many picture dictionaries are bilingual. With words in English and Spanish, it can be even easier to make an association between word and picture, which is a simple way to remember these words. Good dictionaries also have phonetic pronunciation. Phoneme awareness can be easily introduced when reading together. And parent and children can learn together, too.
Playing with puzzles and other educational games are wonderful ways to introduce Spanish vocabulary and spelling. Puzzles also help children build cognitive and logic problem solving skills. Matching and memory word games are great ways to enhance the learning in Spanish. For instance, by seeing different illustrations with the word rojo = red, children can associate the word rojo with red. Bingo games are not only wonderful ways for parents to introduce Spanish words and phrases but to also encourage cooperation between friends and classmates.
Who doesn’t love to learn Spanish with fun lyrics? And that’s the reason many parents like to introduce Spanish words and phrases with educational music. Using maracas, tambourines, and other Hispanic musical instruments are wonderful ways to promote cultural awareness. When children use musical tools along with fun lyrics, it is much easier to remember numbers, animals, and other words. Educational music builds rhyming, word identification, vocabulary. Besides of the great benefits, Spanish songs also promote literature and reading.
Building Spanish literacy can be fun with simple home educational tools. Parents can enhance the vocabulary, phoneme awareness, and reading skills with picture reference books, fun word games, and lyrics. Learning Spanish for children is a skill that can last a lifetime.
Barbara is the creator of Spanish4Kiddos Tutoring Services, an online resource to help parents and educators teach children about Spanish and its culture. She is also a tutor in Spanish, math, and science. You can learn more by visiting her site at www.spanish4kiddos.com to get free worksheets, quizzes, lesson plans, and book suggestions. Connect with her on Twitter @spanish4kiddos or visit her on Facebook at Spanish4Kiddos.