My 5 Must Have Resources for Little Language Learners

top resources for little language learners

Having taken a gamble last autumn to join a Spanish learning group with the children, I am ever more convinced of the benefits of learning a language at a young age. Children are like sponges and the best time for learning a language is when doing so is easy – when they are very young. With that in mind I wanted to share my must have resources for little language learners. These are all things that we have used in our classes or together at home.

top resources for little language learners

Music – Children learn (and remember!) really well when they can move and associate the words they are learning with movement. In the songs we sing at our Spanish group there is a lot of movement. Much of it is based on Makaton style sign language, so a lot of it is quite inutuitive anyway for children.

We sing songs saying hello and goodbye. Songs about fruit, songs about the days of the week and songs about the farm. A fabulous resource for songs and the accompanying lyrics is Rockalingua. Rockalingua really is a brilliant site that has a host of catchy songs that are easy to remember, and most importantly, are great fun to sing.

language learning resourcesI posted a video a few months back of Mr D singing along to one of these videos. What I like about Rockalingua is that each song has an accompanying sheet that has the lyrics on; these are great for older children who can read as well as younger children like my own who can use the pictures as prompts for the words to the songs. There are also videos and games (we like the Frutas video) which bring a lot of fun to language learning. At the end of this post there is a discount code for Rockalingua and it’s really good fun to try.

Another great online resource that we find is well used is Dinolingo. We have a year long subscription to this via a Home Education group. Dinolingo has six 30 minute videos focussing on a number of topics (food, family, animals etc) and they are presented by an animated dinosaur. I really like these as they are engaging and fun and the children regularly ask to watch dinolingo. These work well, I think, as each video is reasonably repetitive. It builds up the vocabulary and repeats it; meaning it is remembered and recalled by the children.

For us, keeping langauge learning fun is key; playing games is a good way of doing this. We use a range of Orchard Toys games for things like number and colour games. Games like counting caterpillars are brilliant for number and colour learning and another favourite is Farm Snap for learning the animals in Spanish. There are many applications for games beyond their original idea and the children love playing their games in Spanish of English. We also like playing Spanish cafes – this is where we order our food in Spanish or, more accurately, the ‘waiters’ throw random foods at you whilst shouting them in Spanish.

must have resources for little language learners

Twinkl has a wide range of resources; including colouring sheets and word mats. We use these a lot (and I use them too for my own learning!). The word mats are great for visual learners and we have a couple printed out to display. It’s really worth a look around the Twinkl site for language related resources as there is an awful lot there, and there is also the added benefit of being able to make and design your own resources.

And, of course, as you might expect, I find books to be enormously beneficial for learning languages. There are some wonderful books that are emerging on the market at the moment – be it books like the one shown below, The Enchanted Forest, or picture dictionary style books.

Now that my own Spanish is improving I am more confident at reading out loud to the children so I am beginning to look for some story and picture books in Spanish to share with them. We have two that should arrive in the next week or s, these are old copies published by Berlitz that have both the Spanish and the English and come with an audio CD. We have read stories at our group and the children have been really engaged. It’s hard to understand how they stay so enthralled and engaged in a story when they don’t understand the majority of the text but they really do love them and even better they are able to recount the stories to me (in English) and pick up new bits of language along the way.

Also, always keep an eye out in charity shops for old language books – it’s amazing what you can find sometimes. Also, take a look at Book Depositry – there are some brilliantly priced books on there (some from just £2.50).

What other resources do you use for your own little language learners? Look out for a post next week where I share some reflections on learning Spanish as an adult and some of the resources that I’ve found useful

If you like the sound of Rockalingua you can sign up using the code LETTHEMBE to recieve a 25% discount on your subscription.

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15 Comments

  1. 11th June 2017 / 12:03

    Oh this is great, i have been thinking of trying to teach my son Spanish, i learnt this at school and some little bits here and there have stuck with me. I like the language there are some good ideas in here. i think if i put on a kids show in spanish for him, he would watch it. even if he doesn’t understand it. I may start this. He turns 3 next week, so now should be a good time to start him, like you say they are sponges!

    • 11th June 2017 / 12:52

      You really should give it a go! My youngest is 11 months and he responds to hola and adios. My middle was 2 when she started and can say loads in Spanish and my four year old is amazing with it x

  2. PAT
    11th June 2017 / 14:18

    I love listening to the children when they are in Spanish mode. They really do enjoy it.

  3. Scandi Mummy
    12th June 2017 / 08:31

    Fantastic that you are learning together. I’m trying to bring my boy up bilingually with English and Danish (my mother tongue)

  4. 12th June 2017 / 13:33

    You are right, kids are like little sponges. After a year in France my children were pretty much fluent in French. Me I am still struggling. I want to keep their language up when we return so these a great resources – thanks!

  5. 12th June 2017 / 14:53

    My first son just loved singing in French! Even with my younger son, with language delays and learning difficulties, he would respond differently to me if I used French. It was a good way to get his interest!

  6. 15th June 2017 / 21:50

    Our son has been enjoying the app ‘Gus on the Go’ for learning French. It comes for various different languages.

  7. 16th June 2017 / 08:41

    Fab resources! I love Twinkl, it’s my number one go to for our home schooling projects 🙂

  8. 16th June 2017 / 15:42

    What a really informative post! As a mum with bilingual kids, I know it is never too early to start learning another language and kids do a lot better than adults do!

  9. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    16th June 2017 / 20:56

    I would love to learn Italian as my dad’s family came from there over 100 years ago, plus I love Italian food 🙂 I have invigilated for some language exams and it is fun trying my best to recall my school French and German

  10. 23rd June 2017 / 16:07

    Oh my gosh- I only just thought about if I have kids and I might have to teach them another language. I am terrible at other languages! Thanks for the tips 🙂

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