As I have written in the past, my older two children are learning Spanish at the moment. We go to a home ed group on a Friday morning and it is their highlight of the week. The lessons are very much play based with lots of singing and games to keep the children entertained whilst learning and it’s a pattern we follow here at home.
I’ve been asked a few times by friends and others who follow my blog about the things we do to help them learn Spanish, so I thought I’d share some top tips and our tried and tested resources. My children are four and two so these work well with young children.
First off keep it fun for them. Lots of singing, playing and colouring activity sheets really keep my children engaged. We initially focussed on numbers and some colours and expanded these as the children became more confident. Various songs to say ‘hello, how are you?’ help them with sentences etc and gives them real confidence as they soon remember the simple songs and can join in straight away with the class. The children enjoy this simple counting song a lot
My two are quite receptive to doing sheets and colouring pages, but I know this doesn’t work for all children though. I have a few pages printed from twinkl that I just leave to one side for when they show interest in participating. Our favourites have been the rainbow and the paint splashes. I also really like the word mats that twinkl do and as we have been learning about ours eyes, ears, mouth etc I printed this one out for our wall.
Having a handy picture dictionary helps – love the one we have from BSmall publishing – the Spanish-English Picture Dictionary. We use this a lot as a reference point and I also have this one from Collins which is aimed at a slightly older age range and is set out alphabetically.
Another way that we help the children consolidate their language learning is by playing games. We have a lot of Orchard Toys games and these are great in many ways. We use the counting caterpillars game as we can practice our numbers as well as colours. I also really like the farm snap game too for learning the animal names in Spanish.
The children have a tray where they pop all their bits and pieces from Spanish into and I often find them leafing through things. They act as a really good prompt for them and its good fun listening to them chatter and recall what they have learnt.