Sonrisas Spanish Blog

spanish curriculum for kidsWhen it comes to second language acquisition, there is no time like the present. Preschool and elementary-aged children are in the prime development stage to achieve bilingualism, as their ability to hear and reproduce new sounds will greatly diminish between the ages of eight and 12. As your child reaches bilingualism, they will experience its benefits throughout their life.

  1. Heightened Attention
    A Spanish curriculum for kids could have deeper cognitive benefits than just the language acquisition itself. Speaking two languages involves constant attention and task switching, which according to a NPR report, is a result of the brain having to focus on only speaking one language at any given moment. This improves what psychologists call “executive function,” which is basically the brain’s ability to focus, remember instructions, multitask, and plan.
  2. Better School Performance
    Bilingual children seem to do better in school. According to NPR, a 30-year study at George Mason University found that duel-language students had higher test scores than children in mono-lingual, English-only classrooms. After analyzing eight million student records in six states, researchers also found improved attendance, higher parental involvement, and improved behavior among the bilingual students.
  3. Reduced Risk of Dementia
    According to The Hanen Centre, learning a second language could eventually protect the brain against the cognitive impacts of aging. In one study, researchers found that the onset of dementia was delayed by four years in bilingual patients when compared to monolingual patients. So, while your child’s elementary Spanish curriculum is likely showing immense immediate benefits, these benefits could also carry on through adulthood.
  4. Improved English Reading Skills
    In an American University study, researcher Jennifer Steel spent four years analyzing the performance of students in Portland, OR, according to NPR. Ten percent of students in this district are assigned to a duel-language classroom through a lottery system before entering kindergarten. Steele found that the students in duel-language classrooms were essntially a full school year ahead of their peers in terms of English reading skills. In other words, your child’s elementary school Spanish curriculum could help their English skills as well.

 
After beginning their Spanish curriculum for kids, and continuing on their track for bilingualism, your child is setting themselves up for cognitive success later in life. Take advantage of this time of learning by exploring your language education options today.

spanish for preschoolOur world is rapidly expanding and becoming increasingly globalized, with cultures and languages merging and influencing one another. Here in the United States, the amount of native Spanish speakers has dramatically increased in the few decades. Yet, the Summer Institute of Linguistics reports that in the United States, only 17% of the total population speaks another language other than English. Over two-thirds of the world’s children are bilingual, due to rise of English as a global language and their proximity to other countries.

Since the United States is a primarily English-speaking country and is not as close to other foreign countries as a whole (as compared to Europe, for example), the need to learn a second language has never been as urgent as with other countries. However, as Spanish speakers become more prevalent in the United States, it would behoove the future generations of children to learn that second language, especially since learning another language has many other benefits.

When Can I Start My Child on Another Language?
The beauty of learning a language is that it’s actually easier to teach a child a language the younger he or she starts. Since a child is learning language skills from the time they’re born, that skill comes naturally and easily and is greatly enhanced before the age of six. Their ability to pronounce unfamiliar sounds and learn new grammar rules is much more malleable before that age. However, for the first eight years, children are busy picking up language skills, through imitating others, repeating what they’ve learned, and through songs and games.

Given that experts suggest the best time to introduce your child to a foreign language is even before the age of 5, looking into a Spanish for preschool program might be a great way to go. Spanish for preschool curriculum can be a great way to introduce these foreign language skills in a fun and easy way. Outside of the Spanish for preschool program, you can also purchase Spanish story book sets and read to your child at home or look into an outside Spanish curriculum for kids to really try and immerse them in the language.

What are the Benefits to my Child Learning Another Language?
Growing up bilingual can have many positive benefits for your child. Learning another language can help us empathize and relate better to other cultures, cultivate an interest in travel, and once you’ve learned a second language, learning a third, fourth, or even fifth comes much easier.

Bilingual employees can even earn more than monolingual employees! Research has shown that those who speak more than one language earn about 20% more on average than their colleagues who only speak one language. Children who are bilingual or multilingual are also shown to be smarter and better at problem solving and planning. Studies also suggest learning another language can help improve your memory and keep it sharp into old age.

Speaking Spanish can be especially useful — census reports state that it’s the second-most spoken language in the world (Chinese is the first), with almost 400 million native speakers! It outranks English in terms of global use. It’s the official language of over 20 countries across the world and there are plenty of amazing travel destinations that travelers can partake in more fully if they speak the language.

Give your child an amazing life skill when you seek out Spanish for preschool programs for your child to attend. Continue that education by looking at elementary, middle, and high schools that emphasize a Spanish curriculum for children. Learning how to speak Spanish as a second language will only become more beneficial for children in the future. It’s never too early to start your child with a new language!

spanish story bookSpanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world, making it one of the most practical foreign languages for your child to learn. Despite the benefits of learning Spanish as a second language, it can be difficult to actually engage your child and help them learn directly.

This is why we’ve collected a few helpful tricks that can make teaching your child more fun and a little bit more covert! Here’s how you can get started.

Watch Spanish Cartoons
Cartoons that focus on Spanish-speaking characters or even incorporate small bits of Spanish like “Dora the Explorer” are excellent ways to supplement your child’s preschool Spanish curriculum lessons. These cartoons are often fun, colorful, and interactive for children, encouraging them to participate and learn new phrases in a different language. Audiovisual media is a fun, engaging way for children to learn a new language, and you can incorporate it at any time during the day.

Make Learning a Game
Learning anything in a classroom setting can quickly tire your child mentally. Instead of sitting down and looking through flashcards, try to engage your child with a fun language-learning game. It also helps if you offer a reward like a snack or a treat when the game is finished. If your child can associate learning a new language with fun and games, it will ultimately be much easier for you and for them in the long run to learn the language.

Invest in Spanish Story Books
Everyone loves a good bedtime story, and what better way to help your child learn Spanish than by reading to them in that language? As your child gets older, they can transition into reading the books with your help. If you’re not ready for full on Spanish story books, try Spanish story book sets that have an English version to accompany them. Some books even incorporate side-by-side learning.

Learning a new language can be a challenge for both you and your child. Finding ways to make it fun is just one of the many things you can do to create a positive learning environment for you and your child.

childrens spanish curriculumIt’s no secret that learning Spanish is incredibly helpful in both an intellectual and career-oriented sense. But while it’s possible and still recommended to learn Spanish at any point in your life, it’s becoming more and more apparent that teaching a childrens Spanish curriculum at an early age is extremely important.

Spanish for preschoolers may seem like a challenge at first, but once you learn more about language learning, it’s easy to see why starting at such a young age is important. Here are just a few of the many reasons why it’s so important to start helping your child learn elementary Spanish at a young age.

Early Language Skills Are Developed
For their first eight years of life, children are naturally acquiring language skills. They learn through imitation, songs, and a variety of other methods. After eight or 10 years, a child starts to lose these innate abilities, making it much more difficult to learn a second language and retain what they’ve learned. If you take advantage of the time period in which your child is naturally learning new languages, it’s likely that they will have a much easier time learning Spanish and actually retaining what they’ve been taught through Spanish storybooks sets and other fun tools.

More cultural Appreciation
Most children don’t start learning about other cultures until pretty well on into their education. If you invest in your childrens Spanish curriculum at an early age, it’s great exposure to a culture that is different from their own. This can not only provide a base for a broader education, it can actually help you child understand and appreciate other cultures more later in their life.

Spanish is Widely Spoken
Spanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world, and there is a large population of Spanish-speakers in the United States. In a world that is increasingly bilingual, it makes sense that your child should be, as well. Not only will learning Spanish help them understand more people around them, it may play a large role in their career opportunities in the future.

Don’t let this amazing educational opportunity slip away!

SunMeet Katy Harris

Katy Harris began teaching kindergarten in 1993 in Steamboat Springs, CO after attending the University of Arizona and receiving her degree in elementary education with a minor in Spanish and an endorsement in bilingual education. In 2005 Katy took a break from teaching to raise her two boys. During this time she tutored and taught Spanish to a homeschool co-op group of elementary through middle school students. When she returned to teaching in the public schools in 2012, she taught reading intervention and then landed a job teaching Spanish at Soda Creek Elementary School in Steamboat. Katy teaches grades K-5th , seeing almost 600 students once per week for fifty minutes as part of the Specials team. In her first year teaching Spanish, she traveled to the different classrooms with a cart, which was very challenging. She is now fortunate to have her own classroom where she creates a lively and immersive Spanish environment. Soda Creek Elementary recently received the John Irwin School of Excellence award given by the Colorado Department of Education.

 

BookHow Sonrisas Spanish is Effective for Katy

Katy uses Sonrisas Level I and Level II for her K-3rd grade students, and she adapts content from those lessons for her 4th and 5th graders. She recently purchased Sonrisas Level III and is planning on diving in with that for her older students. Katy loves the literature that accompanies the lessons, and she feels that the storybooks really help her connect with her students. She says that the literature helps them to stay grounded in their Spanish—especially when she has only a limited amount of time with them. She also appreciates how the storybooks in the lessons are effective at helping students retain language concepts. In short, Katy thinks that the Sonrisas lessons really stick with her students.

 

lightbulb4Teaching Tips from Katy

A common practice for Katy is to have students hold on to the art projects from the lessons so that she can use them for review. She’ll have students write phrases, vocabulary, and questions from the lessons on their art projects and then review with them—often times holding on to them for weeks—before sending them home. Katy’s 1st-5th grade students have composition books in which they glue many of the art projects and write key phrases and vocabulary. Katy will then use these for review throughout the year. This also provides her students with a nice portfolio-like product that they can use for reading and review and that they can show to parents at the end of the year.

In her classroom, Katy sets up a variety of different stations for her students where they can practice their Spanish through reading, writing, games, and interacting with the many visuals in the room. Her younger students do an activity where they “write around the room”—they search for words from the various classroom visuals and write them on white boards. Katy also mentions that she likes to keep her students moving.

 

heart4What Inspires Katy

Katy loves the subject she teaches and believes that learning languages is fascinating. She likes that she gets to have a lot of fun with her job, and she enjoys singing, acting, and being dramatic. She loves the energy of working with children and having the opportunity to learn alongside them. She feels that teaching elementary Spanish is a great profession because she gets to grow and learn more every day. Katy really enjoys that she is able to help kids realize that learning Spanish is an attainable goal.

Circle TimeIf you would like to connect with Katy, you can do so by emailing her at kharris@ssk12.org.

 

Sonrisas Feature Teacher celebrates teachers who are using the Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum and tells their stories. If you know someone who would be a good candidate for a Sonrisas Feature Teacher, email us at info@sonrisasspanish.com.

spanish storybookIf you’re looking for a great preschool Spanish curriculum for your child, there’s no better place to start than in your very own home. Spanish storybooks are a great place to begin. And the earlier, the better! Your child’s ability to pronounce unfamiliar sounds is much more enhanced before the age of six.

Not sure where to look for the perfect Spanish story book sets? Here’s a short list of great Spanish storybooks for you to read with your child.

La Cenicienta

Written by Chilean poet and Noble Prize winner Gabriela Mistral, this story recounts the fantastic tale of Cinderella, in Spanish of course! The book uses meter and rhyme to tell the story, which may make it easier for your child to comprehend at a young age.

Frida

Frida Kahlo is one of the most iconic Hispanic women in history for both her artistic and personal accomplishments. This beautifully illustrated book by Jonah Winter gives you and your child a glimpse into the colorful and surreal artistic life of a Latina legend.

Juegos Tradicionales

Juegos Tradicionales was written by Maria Angelica Ovalle and illustrates 34 of the most popular games played by children in Latin America. Not only is this a great way to start teaching Spanish in the home, it’s an excellent way to help your child get a look at a completely new culture and even learn a few games that you can play together.

ABeCedario de Plantas

If you and your child are interested in learning about nature, then this is the book for you. Not only does author Yanitzia Canetti cover a wide variety of flora in this book, but there’s even a glossary in the back to help you learn as you go. In addition, the book is filled with beautiful visuals to further aid the learning and reading process.

Learning a new language can be tough, but if you start at home and with simple things like Spanish story book sets, you and your child should be well on the way to making easy learning of Spanish.

spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolersDid you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world? There are over 387 million native speakers, which means that more people speak Spanish as a first language than English!

With that many people speaking Spanish, it makes sense to learn it as a second language. But even more than understanding a large portion of the world’s population, there are other hidden benefits of learning Spanish.

Job Opportunities
Just as speaking French or German opens up job opportunities to work in different countries, so does Spanish. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave America to get a job teaching Spanish or translating for people. In addition, you’ll be able to create more contacts with people you may have ordinarily never spoken with. The contacts you make could be extremely valuable in your future career.

Improved Cognitive Function
Recent research has shown that children who learn a second language at a young age through Spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolers have improved cognitive function over their peers. Improvements in attention span, problem solving, and interpersonal communication have all been observed in children who learn second languages at a young age. This isn’t specific to Spanish alone, but Spanish is certainly one of the most popular second languages for students to learn.

Easier to Learn at a Young Age
Children are naturals at acquiring language skills from a young age, so the earlier you decide to teach your child a second language, the better. Spanish storybook sets and Spanish curriculum lessons for preschool students are all available and have proven to be extremely helpful tools in language education.

Cultural Appreciation
The best way to learn about different cultures is to immerse yourself in them. The first step in that immersion is learning the language. If you want your child to learn more about Hispanic culture, then preschool Spanish lessons are a great way to start.

Don’t let your child miss out on all of the benefits of learning a second language, especially if Spanish is your first choice.

spanish curriculum for kidsThe earlier you introduce your child to a foreign language, the better. Most experts recommend starting before the age of 10, and some recommend starting as early as the age of five. Despite the fact that children are naturally acquiring language skills for the first few years of their life, learning a foreign language can still be challenging, especially if you don’t have an effective Spanish curriculum for kids.

To help make learning Spanish more effective and playful, here are a few tips to help you create a better Spanish curriculum for kids.

Games
When you think of making something fun, games are probably the first things that come to mind. So it makes sense that turning Spanish learning into a game could make a child more engaged. Spanish for preschoolers can be tough because they’re easily distracted, but games can help keep the mind from wandering.

Movies
Movies are wonderful tools to help encourage learning and make it entertaining at the same time. Most children’s cartoons have a simple narration of actions and thoughts, which can help them learn languages and new words. At the end of the movie, you can offer a short quiz and perhaps a prize to make learning more rewarding for the kids.

Songs
What Spanish curriculum for children is complete without a song? If you play an instrument, even better. Activities like singing can help foster feelings of community, and melodies are often great ways to help children remember words and phrases.

Stories
When in doubt, the best way to help children learn is to learn with them through stories. Spanish story book sets are a great addition to any classroom, and an even better addition to learning at home. Humans have been telling each other stories since the dawn of time, both to entertain and to educate. There’s a reason children like to be read to before bedtime. Incorporate a few Spanish story books into your nighttime or classroom routine.

Learning a foreign language might be a challenge, for kids and grownups, but using these tools will help you create a more effective and fun Spanish curriculum for kids.

spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolersLearning a language can be difficult, even during a child’s first eight years in which they’re naturally acquiring language skills every day. Despite the difficulties, learning a second language can be extremely beneficial to your child for the rest of their life.

If you’re dedicated to helping your child learn a second language that could very well help them later in life, here are a few tips to make the process easier for both of you.

Sign up for a Class

The first step is to actually sign your child up for a class. It can be online or in person, but Spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolers are important if you want to make the language learning process easier for your child. Spanish curriculum for kids is often simplistic, so if you want them to learn from the comfort of your home, that’s perfectly okay. In some cases, it may even make the learning process easier.

Informal Lessons are Even Better

If you or your child have a friend who speaks fluent Spanish, invite them over! Informal Spanish for preschoolers often takes place in a more comfortable setting than a classroom. Above all else, this is a great way to build social skills and enhance what your child has already learned in the classroom.

Bilingual Bedtime Stories

One of the most effective ways to reinforce Spanish curriculum lessons is to incorporate them into everyday activities. Stories, in particular, are a great way to really reinforce what your child has already learned. If you can make it a fun activity, like reading a book and having your child identify pictures that match the Spanish words, even better. Spanish curriculum lessons for preschoolers already cover the basics, but if you want those lessons to stick, then you should work to include the language in your own home.

The most important lesson to remember here is that you should be learning alongside your child. In order for them to have the most formative learning experience possible, you should make an attempt to show your child that they’re not the only one learning new things.

spanish storybook setWith the advancements in technology and travel within the past few decades, more and more Americans are traveling to different foreign countries. Because of this, the world is becoming more connected than ever before.

Learning a language — especially at a young age — brings many benefits to a young learner that will impact them for the rest of their lives. Here are the top four reasons you should introduce your child to a foreign language as soon as you can.

Improved Linguistics Skills

Children are sponges, and easily absorb everything in their environment. This is especially true with languages. If children are exposed at a young age, they will learn much easier and have an increased fluency than if they learned later in life. Children as young as three years old are developmentally mature enough to acquire a foreign language fairly easily, rapidly, and without accent. Plus, a child who speaks a second language will be able to learn a third language faster!

Cognitive Benefits

A few cognitive benefits that come with learning a second language include:

  1. Better problem solving skills
  2. Increased critical thinking skills
  3. Increased creativity
  4. Increased memory
  5. The ability to better multi-task

High Academic Performance

Bilingual students across the nation have repeatedly scored higher on standardized test scores, along with math and science. Considering the fact that language and science utilize both sides of the brain, a foreign language will enhance your child’s mental flexibility.

Well Rounded

Every parent wants their child to be well rounded, and nothing will help them become more culturally enriched than learning another language. Becoming fluent in a language will be able to open doors both socially and provide a level of competition in the workforce as they grow older.

If you are thinking about having your child learn a foreign language, consider enrolling them in preschool Spanish curriculum lessons. This curriculum includes utilizing Spanish storybook sets, which can help your child learn in a way that they can understand from a young age. Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the entire world, and the benefits your child will receive from this language are endless.

Looking to start your child off slowly into the world of foreign languages? Contact Sonrisas Spanish School to get your Spanish storybook sets today.