I'm a mom with a desire to teach my own children a language that I am still learning myself. With my boys being young, the most important piece for me is to have fun and make memories. Last week I shared why we want to teach our boys to be fluent in Spanish. Today, I'm sharing a few resources we use to tackle this challenge. My son will begin kindergarten this fall. He will not be in a dual language program (his school doesn't offer it). We cannot afford a private full immersion school. We are not planning to leave to a Spanish-language country any time soon to immerse our entire family in the language. So, it’s up to my bilingual husband and me to make sure they will have the environment to learn Spanish. It's a challenge we are up for! Daily resources are books, music, family and online resources.
A few Spanish, bilingual or cultural books I read to my boys.
I've entered giveaways on blogs to win bilingual books (and won a few!). When I go shopping for books, if I buy a book in English, I make it a point to buy at least one bilingual book. Our most used resource is the public library. My boys are young and they still loooove to be read to. So if I read them one story, I insist we read one in Spanish too. I rarely hear, "No, mom!" My boys do enjoy 'Mexican music' (a.k.a. any song in Spanish). Music is fun and it usually makes us happy. Lyrics seem to be easy to learn even in another language. And it's easy to find. We mostly use iTunes and Pandora. I don't really look for 'kids' music for them, just anything with a good beat that we can hear the lyrics. (or I just google the lyrics, haha) This isn't a formal way of learning, obviously. It's just one way to keep the language in the house. My boys' abuela predominately speaks Spanish and I'm blessed to have her care for them regularly. Mi suegra will talk to them in Spanish often. She also speaks English so we don't put any pressure on either party to speak Spanish but her enthusiasm for them learning Spanish helps! We also have the support of our extended family even from the ones who don't speak the language. Thanks to the internet and social media, I have found many resources to help me teach my boys Español. Here are some resources:
- SpanglishBaby.com – It was started by two mothers who are extremely passionate about ensuring our children not only speak both our languages, English and Español, but that they also grow up proud of both their cultures, Latino and American. They have regular giveaways, a tiendita and an Ask an Expert section.
- GrowingUpBilingual.com – This blog was created to share the adventure of educating and raising bilingual and bicultural children and to create awareness about the importance of supporting home languages, heritage and culture both at home and in the classroom. They have book reviews and resources for the parents, teachers and students.
- Miscositas YouTube and Delicious pages – MisCositas.com is a free web resource that offers teachers a variety of materials for teaching languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Thai and ESL. Lori Langer de Ramirez created MisCositas.com first as part of her doctoral dissertation work in 1996. The website and their pages have lists of resources grouped for you to choose exactly what you need.
We are at the beginning of our bilingual journey and will learn much more. Do you have preferred websites, blogs or activities to learn Spanish?