Encouraging Spanish at Home
In order to ensure that your child gets the maximum benefits from our Spanish immersion program, practicing one’s skills at home and after graduation is very important! At first, kids might be shy to speak Spanish at home because they might not feel it is a space to do so. Practicing Spanish requires consistency, patience, and celebrating new milestones in their learning journey! How can you encourage Spanish at home? Here are 7 easy tips!
7 Ways to Encourage Spanish at Home:
- Watch Movies or Shows in Spanish.
- Ask Your Child Lots of Questions … In Spanish!
- Use Your Local Library for Resources.
- Ask Your Child About Their Day.
- Create a Spanish Dictionary.
- Play Some Spanish Music.
- Parents, Take Spanish Courses!
One: Watch Movies or Shows in Spanish
This is a tactic commonly used by many people, specifically those attempting to learn a new language quickly. Today, many streaming services allow you to watch your favorite shows dubbed. The reason this helps is that you are watching people engage and interact, and based on the setting and their actions one will slowly start to pick up words and dialogue. Subtitles help reinforce learning, as you are able to match words better. Encourage your child to watch their favorite cartoon in Spanish! While they are engaged with the show they will unconsciously retain more information and broaden their Spanish vocabulary. You can also find shows for free on YouTube such as Peppa Pig and PocoyoTV.
Two: Ask Your Child Lots of Questions … In Spanish
Asking questions such as “¿Como se dice en Español?” meaning “How do you say this in Spanish?” will help their thinking skills and allow them to implement the knowledge they have learned at Casa. Sometimes, your child may be shy to talk in Spanish at home so they might not respond right away. Give them time and be consistent about it, but never push them or get frustrated. Over time, they will learn that their home is a safe and comfortable place to practice Spanish.
A great resource for this if you, the parent, does not know much Spanish is using the monthly curriculum emails we send out or looking at the door lesson plans! We include phrases in Spanish and English that align with the theme of the month, so you can know what they are learning and reinforce their vocabulary. Another resource is asking your teachers how you say things in Spanish as they are always eager to answer questions you may have!
Three: Use Your Local Library for Resources
Your local library is a great resource and will most likely have a section in Spanish. Search for your child’s favorite book in Spanish and read it to them before drop-off or bedtime. Doubting your Spanish skills? A great trick is picking up your children’s book and memorizing a recording of it online. This way you can follow along. You may also go to the Casa App under the playlist section and find a list of audiobooks already uploaded for your child to follow. A thing to mention is, frequently change the books your child is reading or listening to. Sometimes, children will begin to memorize what they are listening to without fully understanding, so to keep them engaged, change it up.
Four: Ask Your Child About Their Day
On the car ride home, make it a habit to ask them how school went and what they did! Once they have told you in English, ask if they can tell you again in Spanish. This will engage their memory and help them practice translating.
Five: Create a Spanish Dictionary
Choose a notebook and add new words to it whenever you can while making it seem like a game. Maybe give them their favorite food every time they have written five new words! Write down the new word and draw a picture. Then, ask them to tell you everything they know about it. This will also help with their critical thinking skills and allow them to create associations between the world and their everyday life.
Six: Play Some Spanish Music
Listen to music in Spanish that is age-appropriate and watch the corresponding music videos. Just like watching a show, this will help them pick out certain words in scenes and build connections.
Seven: Parents, Take Spanish Courses!
Children look up to parents, so taking Spanish courses reinforces that it is a very important skill and will most likely engage. Apps such as Duolingo are free and perfect for beginners who have never been exposed to the language. They also include free podcasts and audiobooks to go along for you and your child to listen to! YouTube also has many educational videos for free. How does a parent learning Spanish help children? This will help you engage in Spanish conversations, use vocabulary to prompt speaking, and ask questions.