Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making Language Learning Fun: Teaching Spanish to Kids with the Salsa Series

Teaching Spanish to children offers a multitude of benefits beyond just language proficiency. In today's globalized world, the ability to communicate in multiple languages is increasingly valuable, and introducing Spanish at a young age can lay a solid foundation for future language learning. Teaching Spanish to kids opens up a world of opportunities for them to communicate with a wider range of people and explore different cultures. It's like giving them a linguistic superpower!

Teaching kids Spanish with Salsa Series
When kids learn Spanish early on, their brains are like sponges, soaking up new words and sounds effortlessly. Plus, they'll have a head start in mastering a valuable skill that can benefit them for a lifetime. The earlier you can start the better! Learning a second language like Spanish doesn't just boost communication skills - it also strengthens cognitive abilities like problem-solving and multitasking. 

Making Spanish learning fun and engaging is key to keeping kids interested and motivated. Boring textbooks, be gone! Instead using effective strategies to engage young learners and creative ways to make language learning fun and interactive will be of greater benefit. By incorporating cultural elements and utilizing technology tools, parents can create a dynamic and engaging environment that fosters a love for the Spanish language and Hispanic culture in children.

For a homeschool parent that isn't bilingual, it can seem a daunting task to try to teach a foreign language when you don't know it yourself. But it really isn't as difficult as it may seem. 

One of our favorite resources for teaching young kids Spanish is from Georgia Public Broadcasting! It is called Salsa. This series is absolutely free and available online. It is set up so that your child can watch fun videos with adorable characters. The videos are completely in Spanish, but have no fear. There is a transcript available with English translations running side by side for each video. In addition to the videos, there are activities provided as well. There were some versions with sign language as well, but I've not been able to find them in recent years. If you are wishing for a teacher's guide, The Wyoming Elementary School Foreign Language Program has created a Teacher Support Materials booklet for Grades K-2.

Want More Ideas?
You can do lots of things as a homeschool parent to reinforce your child's new Spanish language acquisition. You can play games like bingo and matching or create scavenger hunts. Kids can act out what they've watched on Salsa using the new vocabulary, too. And while Salsa, has some catchy tunes, you can have fun with it and make up your own as well. 

Duck, duck, goose in Spanish

Another terrific way to learn a language and build on your child's Salsa learning experience is to learn about Hispanic speaking cultures. Cultivating cultural awareness and an appreciation for all people is so very vital for parents. You can do this by exploring Hispanic festivals and traditions, reading Hispanic folk tales, learning traditional songs, and teaching kids about the diverse array of Spanish-speaking countries. These types of activities will open their eyes to the rich tapestry of cultures and customs within the Spanish-speaking world. From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic, exploring these countries can help children develop a global perspective.

Peruvian Meal

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S said...

I need to download a player for this to work for me but when I search for one I can't find one. Any idea what I could use to play the videos? They don't work on my windows media player either.


Bethany said...

Hello S,

When I put the sites into the web address bar, my computer's windows media player opens and they play there.

If you click on the search page button above, it looks like they play in real player on the right side of your screen. It looks like this site: http://www.real.com/ has a free version.

I hope this helps!

Lisa said...

I just want to thank you for your blog. I find myself getting ideas and I appreciate you putting this our there for others to see.

Bethany said...

I received an comment that I mistakenly deleted that I wanted to reply to...

There was some problem with getting connected to the videos.

Early today I have still been able to get to the videos by clicking on the "try his new set of links" in this post.

Please let me know if this works for you, I believe it was Sharon?

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