Sonrisas Spanish Blog

Sonrisas Curriculum Methodologies

kids spanish curriculumWhen teaching a middle school or elementary Spanish curriculum, it is easy to worry that your students will leave their knowledge in the classroom. Second language acquisition takes constant practice, which means that your students should be practicing at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can spread your Spanish curriculum beyond the classroom.

  • Form A Spanish Club: An after school Spanish-language club is a great way to supplement your classroom’s curriculum. Consider how you can add a twist to your daily lessons, such as trying recipes or learning a dance. This is also a perfect environment for your students to tell you what they would like to learn, so encourage this enthusiasm.
  • Include Their Parents: Your students’ parents should know what their children are learning in the classroom. During your next parent-teacher conference day, tell the parents about your class’s Spanish lessons and provide resources for them to continue this learning at home.
  • Send Books Home: Of the potential resources that you can give to parents, Spanish storybook sets are one of the best. These books are a great supplement to a kids Spanish curriculum. If your students are able to read, they can read their parents these books, practicing pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary in a comfortable environment.
  • Teach Them Songs: Songs get stuck in your head, so take advantage of this by singing in class. Your students will be sure to sing these tunes at home while they are going about their daily activities. Little do they know, they are actually sneaking in some language practice.
  • Provide A List Of Resources: Whether in a weekly newsletter or email, consider sending your students and their parents an updated list of resources. These can include online practice tools, local cultural events, and instructions for language practice games.

Making a commitment to your students’ Spanish language acquisition will provide them with a lifetime of opportunities. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world. By knowing Spanish, your students will someday be able to travel and work in these countries with ease. Your effort to get the most out of your classroom’s kids Spanish curriculum will increase their ability to connect with people all over the world, making them a well-rounded global citizen.

homeschool spanish curriculumWhen implementing a classroom or homeschool Spanish curriculum for children, you may notice that your child or students are anxious to speak in the target language. If you have ever learned a foreign language yourself, you might relate to this experience. Speaking in a new language can feel uncomfortable. Use these techniques to make your students more secure with conversing in Spanish.

  • Warm Up: When starting the day’s lesson, be sure to begin with a simple speaking exercise. Consider reviewing what the students learned in the previous lesson with a short game, for example. This will ease the children into speaking in Spanish and switch their mind over from English.
  • Keep It Positive: Many students may be anxious about receiving negative reinforcement. Language is a central part of a human’s identity, so your students might feel threatened or embarrassed by only hearing feedback about what they are doing wrong. Give plenty of positive feedback as well to balance this out.
  • Encourage Peer Interaction: The children may feel more comfortable practicing their skills with each other than with an instructor. Peer-to-peer conversation is a great way to naturally build fluency. This is especially true for older elementary school students, as they are often chatty at this age.
  • Keep It Fun: By using games and other activities to practice grammar and vocabulary, your students can learn without realizing they are learning. Sprinkle these exercises into more traditional instruction, balancing kinesthetic learning with audiovisual. Take note of which games your students like the best, using these more often or as a special treat.
  • Integrate Smoothly: While your students or child are completing their classroom or homeschool Spanish curriculum for children, find ways to integrate Spanish into other parts of their daily routine. For example, ask them the Spanish words for their food at snack time. This will encourage familiarity and increase comfort with the language, making it less intimidating in general.

 
Reducing language anxiety in elementary Spanish lessons may require individual attention, as different students will exhibit various levels of comfort. Stay in tune with each student’s needs, checking in when you see a problem arise. As a their primary instructor you are responsible for making their learning experience as comfortable as possible, encouraging language acquisition in an open environment. Since students who learn a second language can learn a third more easily, learning Spanish through speaking will open their mind to taking the same approach with another language in the future.

preschool Spanish lessonsWhile your young students are still mastering their first language, now is the time to introduce a second one. Before age six, children have a heightened aptitude for pronouncing new sounds and learning grammar. By introducing elementary or preschool Spanish lessons during this critical period, you are setting up your classroom to be more successful in the immediate and distant future. The following are just a few of the benefits of encouraging a bilingual classroom environment early on.

  • More Adaptable Students: Since your students are completing Spanish curriculum lessons and incorporating the language into their school days, they are being forced to perform mental task switching. This mental skill will make them more adaptable and flexible in other aspects of their academic life as well.
  • Heightened Cultural Awareness: Your classroom will no longer be a mono-cultural environment. Learning a second language comes with learning about other cultures, so your students will constantly be expanding their horizons.
  • Generally Improved Language: Especially for students learning from preschool Spanish lessons, this second language acquisition is happening as their are expanding their mastery of their first language. For some students, Spanish might even be their third language. By introducing this bilingual education, you will likely see improved reading, writing, and verbal skills across the board.
  • Improved Career Prospects: While college and career decisions are far off for your students, it is never to early to prepare. By introducing Spanish early, you are already giving your students expanded job options for adulthood. Bilingualism is a very marketable skill.
  • Better Memory: You can expect your students to pick up math and history facts much more easily now. Bilingualism improves memory, leading to improved cognitive retention of information in other school subjects.

 
By introducing a Spanish curriculum for kids, you are giving your students a clear advantage. Once your students begin to retain and master a second language, you will likely notice a change in your classroom environment. These young children will have improved attention, sharper fact recall, and heightened ability to adapt to various tasks. As society becomes more global and interconnected, you will be doing your students a service by establishing a bilingual classroom.

spanish curriculumAs a parent of a homeschooled child, you may be looking for ways to implement second language acquisition into your child’s education. In addition to purchasing the Sonrisas Spanish School curriculum for homeschooled elementary-aged children, there are specific techniques that you can use to reinforce learning. Follow these simple tips to supplement your child’s Spanish curriculum and incorporate more language learning into their lives.

  • Play TV, movies, and music in Spanish. Find child-friendly shows and music in Spanish. This exposure will keep your child’s listening and comprehension skills sharp. Encourage them to speak or sing along with the media, improving their pronunciation.
  • Introduce your child to a native speaker. Conversation with a native Spanish speaker is a great way to reinforce vocabulary, grammar, and fluency. This conversation mimics the immersion experience within your own home.
  • Learn Spanish with your child. Either by participating in the purchased Spanish lessons with your child, or by taking your own separate class for adults, try to learn Spanish yourself. This will allow you to converse with your child and keep up with what they are learning. If you are both able to chat in the target language, your homeschool Spanish curriculum can carry on throughout the entire day.
  • Travel to a foreign country together. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide. If you are able, visiting a Spanish speaking country is a great way to show your child the real-world application of learning a language. The trip will also add cultural context to their Spanish education, which is especially important if they do not have regular interaction with native Spanish speakers.
  • Encourage constant practice. From practicing the Spanish words for food in your kitchen to flipping through their favorite Spanish storybook set, make sure that they are using the language throughout the day. This will ensure that they are constantly improving their skills.

 
For you child, learning elementary Spanish can still be highly effective outside of a traditional classroom. To mirror the group learning found in a school, find other homeschool parents who are interested in teaching their children Spanish. This would expose your child to peers with whom to practice the language, pairing fun with language acquisition.

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!

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!

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 curriculumThere is no doubt that early language learning is in the best interest for children — after all, between the ages of 8 and 12, kids lose the ability to hear and reproduce new sounds in the same way that they did when they were younger. This makes language acquisition much harder later in life. And if there is one language that would be helpful for your kids to have under their belts, it is Spanish.

At the same time, preschool Spanish lessons might not captivate every child’s attention, even with engaging Spanish story books and a well thought out Spanish curriculum for kids. Check out these ideas for adding some variety to that curriculum and keeping Spanish learning engaging for kids:

Tell The Story of Their Favorite Characters
Nothing is as sure to get a kid’s attention as their favorite cartoon or book character. Show them that their fictional friends exist in Spanish, too! By reading familiar stories or watching beloved shows in a different language, kids might gain a new taste for learning.

Compose a Song or Rhyming Poem
Let the kids be the writers of their own songs or rhyming poems. Instead of just learning to listen and read, they will learn to apply the vocabulary and grammar they’re learning to tell a story or a joke.

Let The Kids Be The Teacher
Let every child teach a small segment of the day’s lesson, or lead an overview for the class. They’ll get a chance to show how much they’ve learned and will be so excited to address the whole class.

Skype With a Native Speaker
Call a native Spanish speaker on Skype to talk to the whole class. They will be so excited to understand and be understood, not to mention the thrill of talking to someone across the country or continent!

Play Games
Of course, every strong Spanish curriculum should draw heavily on games as a learning device. From dancing and acting to matching and memory games, the kids will soon forget that they are at school.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and use local history, songs, and field trips to make learning Spanish an immersive and interesting experience!

Home Page ImageOnce again summer is coming to a close, and it is time to start planning and prepping for a new school year. Summer break is a valuable time for teachers to relax, reflect, and recharge. Hopefully you are feeling rejuvenated and excited about the year to come and all the rewards that it has to offer. As you get ready to teach your Spanish classes, here are five things you can do to plan and prep for your Sonrisas Spanish lessons:

  1. Read the introduction to your teachers manual thoroughly. The introduction is an in-depth look at the methodologies and implementation of the Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum. The perspective you will gain from reading the introduction will make your lessons more effective and will provide you with knowledge that will be useful when talking to parents, administrators, and colleagues about your classes. Reading the introduction to the Sonrisas teacher’s manual is like taking a class on how to teach Spanish to children.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the activities in the lessons and practice them. Every lesson in Sonrisas Level I and Level II has a main lesson activity that introduces the language concepts. Some of the activities are simple, some are more complex. Become familiar with the activities, and even practice them beforehand. This will insure that they will go smoothly and that your students will benefit from them.
  3. Use the music CD’s as a resource to learn the songs and sing them yourself with your students while you perform the accompanying movement and gestures. This is way more effective than playing the songs on a player for your students. Your teacher’s manual has a section that contains the lyrics to the songs and the directions for all the movement and gestures that go along with the songs. The movement and gestures provide comprehensible input for your students, and they connect the language to your students’ physical bodies. This is a very important component of early childhood language acquisition.
  4. Start gathering art supplies for the art projects. There is an art supply list in the appendices of your teacher’s manual. Look at this as a starting point. Review the first several art projects that you will do and make sure you have the supplies for them. Most of the necessary supplies are common school supplies such as crayons, construction paper, and glue.
  5. Before you teach any given lesson, read the accompanying storybook. The storybooks that you read during the Story Time segment of each lesson have been chosen based on their effectiveness at teaching Spanish to children. They contain elements such as illustrations that convey the meaning of the text, repetitive text, and familiar, age-appropriate themes. The storybooks give your students an authentic experience with Spanish, and they engage your students’ imaginations in Spanish. When you are familiar with the book, you can use your tone, facial expression, and gestures to create an engaging and effective storytelling experience.

 

Remember that we are always available for any questions or support that you may need in teaching the Sonrisas Spanish lessons. Feel free to contact us anytime.

(970) 946-9780

info@sonrisasspanish.com