Sonrisas Spanish Blog

Teaching Preschool and Elementary Spanish

spanish for preschoolImplementing a preschool Spanish curriculum presents a unique opportunity. Prior to age six, a child’s ability to pronounce unfamiliar sounds and learn new grammar rules is greatly enhanced. This is why taking advantage of this critical period is important. By teaching Spanish for preschool through a curriculum, and practicing the skills throughout the day as well, your students will retain the language with ease. Consider these methods for sneaking language practice into your school day routine.

  • Games: There are endless games to practice a second language.
    For preschoolers, games like charades, memory, and “I Spy” can be particularly engaging. See how you can adapt any of your daily games to include Spanish rather than English words or numbers.
  • Songs: You likely already use songs to teach your preschoolers about numbers, letters, and other subjects. They can also be an extremely useful tool in your classroom Spanish practice. Consider purchasing a CD that your students can sing along to, and be sure to make up dances to go along.
  • Crafts: Using crafts to learn Spanish vocabulary is a fun way to enforce new words. For example, assign each student a different animal and have them create that image on construction paper. Ask them the Spanish word for the animal before writing it on the paper for them to take home.
  • Reading: Story time is a classroom staple, so be sure to take advantage of your Spanish storybook set. As your preschool students listen to what you read, they are unknowingly absorbing every word. Pause every page or so to have them repeat a word back to you.
  • Movies: Similar to listening to storybooks, watching movies is a great resource for auditory learning. Consider putting on a Spanish-language version of a movie they have seen in class before. Since they are already familiar with the plot and characters, they will be able to absorb the words more readily.

Above all, be sure to follow the instructions in your preschool Spanish curriculum. By sticking to this Spanish for preschool program and encouraging outside practice, your students will finish their lessons out strong. Also remember to inform parents of your classroom’s curriculum, so they can consider practicing with their children at home.

spanish curriculum for preschoolWhen implementing a homeschool Spanish curriculum for preschool or elementary-aged children, you face a unique challenge: Your child does not have a classroom full of students to speak with. This decreased opportunity for peer-to-peer practice means that you need to use different strategies than a traditional classroom teacher. Supplement your child’s second language curriculum and encourage speaking practice with these effective tips.

  • Learn Spanish with your child. As your child’s primary instructor, you will be the person they speak with the most. If you are not a native speaker and don’t already know Spanish, learn the language alongside your child. To boost your knowledge, consider signing up for an adult Spanish class. Once you know the language as well, you and your child can have conversations together.
  • Bring them to a conversation group. These group activities can be especially effective for older elementary-age children. Conversation groups are usually a relaxed group of both native and non-native Spanish speakers. By participating in these gatherings, your child will boost their fluency and pronunciation skills.
  • Find other homeschoolers to learn with. It is very likely that you are not the only local family implementing a children’s homeschool Spanish curriculum. Use social media or other networks to find other families to learn with. Your children can either complete the curriculum together or practice outside of their lessons.
  • Encourage your child to read to you. Buy a set of Spanish storybooks to read at night. If your child is old enough to read, ask them to read a book to you. For younger children going through a Spanish curriculum for preschool, encourage them to repeat the words you read out loud.
  • Let go of perfectionism. Remember that learning a second language takes time. Do not expect your child to have perfect grammar and fluency when speaking in Spanish. When the two of you are speaking, try to avoid correcting them. You can go over these errors during lessons, but for now, allow them to practice comfortably and freely.

Research shows that children acquire languages more naturally during their first eight years, especially through repetition, imitation, songs, and games. Keep this in mind while practicing Spanish with your child, building a diverse toolbox of strategies. By approaching their Spanish education correctly, you will notice your child’s skills flourish in no time.

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!

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 lessonsYoung children who have the opportunity to take Spanish curriculum lessons have so many advantages. It’s unfortunate that not every child is encouraged to learn a second language at a young age, as it can provide numerous benefits that will last a lifetime. Spanish for preschoolers might seem too difficult for them at first, but with effective Spanish curriculum lessons, your child will learn quickly and be on track for a much better life.

Not only that, but because the language center of toddlers’ brains is growing so fast, they can actually learn languages faster than adults!

Here are a few benefits of how learning a second language through Spanish curriculum lessons can help your child.

They’ll Make More Friends in School

There are more than 50 million people in the U.S. who are either bilingual or speak Spanish as their primary language. If your child learns the wonderful language at an early age, they will be able to interact and converse with anyone who speaks Spanish. This will provide them an opportunity to be friends with all different types of people. This certainly doesn’t have to stop once they leave preschool. Your child will be able to connect with so many more people throughout his or her life and will be a much better person for it.

Have a Much Better Worldview

In a better world, there would be fewer barriers and walls between us, not more. Unfortunately, some close minded people are offended when they have to “Press One for English” and will never open their minds to learning a new language. This is especially true with all the hate that is spewing from political and social “leaders” in this country.

Teach your son or daughter a better way. Finding effective Spanish for preschoolers curriculums can truly open a child’s mind. Help them both speak another language fluently and also see the world in a better, more tolerant point of view.

On Track for a Better Career

On average, bilingual employees earn 20% more per hour than their monolingual counterparts. By the time your children are entering the workforce, that number could even be significantly higher. Another added benefit of learning a second language is that once a child can do so, it’s actually even easier for them to learn a third and fourth language. Doing this can really make your child standout when applying for jobs, and they will thank you for it.

For effective in school and homeschool Spanish curriculum for kids, contact the Sonrisas Spanish School today!

preschool spanish curriculumAs the end of October rapidly approaches, so too does the Mexican holiday of Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. An old Mexican tradition, the Day of the Dead is when people take the time to honor family and friends who have died. The holiday is usually celebrated on the first or second of November and celebrated by more and more people every year since it is a joyful, colorful, and beautiful holiday.

At schools, celebrating holidays from around the world is a great way to familiarize your class with cultures, traditions, and diversity. It is a particularly great way to encourage the application of language skills, if the kids are taking Spanish curriculum lessons or are on a language learning track. Learning a second language has many benefits (for instance, Spanish is the official language of 21 different countries, making it a very helpful language to know).

But, language cannot be divorced from culture, which is why it’s a great idea to encourage the celebration of important holidays in Spanish cultures. La Dia de Los Muertos offers a perfect example for a preschool Spanish curriculum because it is so colorful and unique. Check out some ways your can celebrate the Day of the Dead with your elementary or preschool Spanish class.

Create Altars
Have your students cut out flowers and paper candles to make their own beautiful altars for pets, grandparents, or other family members who have passed. Those who may not have experienced such a loss can make an altar for a famous Spanish figure, like Frida Kahlo or Cesar Chavez.

Have a Feast
Use the holiday as an excuse to feast! Make or bring in traditional Mexican foods, like guacamole, mole sauces, tamales, and more. Don’t forget Calaveras, Mexican sugar skulls, either. Eating together is a great chance to practice social and food vocabulary and familiarize your students with Mexican culture.

Decorate
Get festive and have your students decorate the whole classroom with bright and colorful flags, posters, and banners for the holiday. Make flowers of paper and tissue paper, or hang up lights.

Reading Spanish story books and singing songs are other great ways to get your students involved with the holiday! Celebrating the Day of the Dead is a perfect and fun way to get your students more involved in a preschool Spanish curriculum!