Monday, November 19, 2007


I have been asked several times how I teach Spanish to my kids. I will write this upfront...I wish I had done better when they were younger. Learn from my mistakes. If you are fluent, I beg you to please talk to them in Spanish as much as you can. Make the effort. Tell yourself for this hour I will only speak spanish to them. The younger the better of course, but really any age will benefit.

If you are like me and have missed out on those formidable years, do not fret. There is hope. But it will cost you!

First, label the house. Everything you can. Like everything else this is a stage of your life that will pass. Like not buying diapers anymore, the day will come when you can take them down. For now bear with them. But don't just put them up. Use them! Make the kids ask for leche, taza, cuchillo, agua, pan, plato. Make them say gracias, por favor, de nada. When you need to go say Vamonos, Apurate/Apurense, sientate/sientense.

Flashcards like these may help yo with this task.

What they use, sticks. Bottom line.

Go to the library and get books in Spanish.

Clifford, Froggy, Franklin and other popular kids books can be found in most libraries now.

If you are lucky, Scholastic has a warehouse sale near you. Take advantage. They usually have the Spanish books in the $1 section. Get other tales in Spanish. I once found this book in Spanish with a lot of action verbs. The first day I read it I translated the whole thing as I went along. The second day I translated less and made them act out some of the verbs. The third day even less and more acting. The fourth day totally in Spanish and they had to act every verb with no prompting from me. The fifth day they acted the whole book for dad while I read. They loved it. Whenever we encounter those verbs you bet they remember what they mean.
Have some kind of scavenger hunt. Say a word in Spanish and they have to work together to find the item....zapato, libro, abrigo, etc.

I like this book and this one for word ideas. This site has some great booklets you can print out to help with the reading.

These are fun as well as the others on that page. I have not used them all but some and they are fun for the crafty or easily bored child.

This one is cool and this one.

This is a workbook that worked well when oldest peep was 8 or 9. Here is another version of the same book. Looking for that one I came across this one. I have not used it, but their reviews look good. Check your library for it first.

This is a set of three books the peeps have enjoyed a lot.

Say Hola to Spanish, Say Hola Otra Vez, Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus.

Basically whatever you do, have a plan, stick to it, and most importantly get your kids repeating after you. This is the most important.
More to come........

1 comment:

  1. Hola!!

    I love your post on teaching your kids how to learn Espanol. I absolutely loved the idea to label the house with spanish flashcards!! I am off to Barnes n Noble right now to look for some.

    I am also a native Spanish speaker but married to a non native speaker. It has proven quite difficult to teach my two girls the language because I sometimes feel it too daunting and even though I can immerse them in it I get much resistance from them (although I very well know they must learn it) and even though my family does not live near, my children do have the benefit of having me, their mama, teach them the language! I feel very, very inspired.