Sonrisas Spanish Blog

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.

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!

SunMeet Irene Quinonez

Irene holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in education from Arizona State University with a minor in Spanish. After a thirty-year career as a teacher and curriculum specialist in the Mesa Unified School District, she retired and went into the mortgage business for nine years. Irene was approached by the principal at Christ the King Catholic School in Mesa, Arizona about teaching Spanish, and she accepted. She is in her sixth year of teaching there, and she teaches eleven different classes in grades K-8. When Irene started teaching Spanish, she noted that the school did not have any teaching materials that were appropriate for young children. She knew they needed something exciting, special, and engaging.

BookHow Sonrisas Spanish is Effective for Irene

The Sonrisas Spanish curriculum helped reaffirm for Irene that she was going in the right direction and teaching what children needed to be taught. Because of the time frame of her classes, Irene uses the teacher’s manual to pick and choose activities that work well with her classes. She loves using the songs in her classes and appreciates how they keep her students engaged. Her students love the songs on the Sonrisas CD so much that they often sing them completely on their own. Irene tells the story of the kindergarten teacher taking her children on a field trip to the Phoenix Zoo. When the children saw the elephants, they began singing the song “Un elefante” (track #7 on the Sonrisas CD) to the elephants in their enclosure! Needless to say, the kindergarten teacher as well as visitors were surprised to hear the children singing in Spanish. Irene also utilizes the storybooks not just with her younger students, but across the grade levels.

lightbulb4Teaching Tips from Irene

Irene’s advice to teachers is to start slowly and realize that you do not have to teach your students everything right away. It is more important to take the time to determine what your students’ needs are and then do what you have to do to meet those needs. In regard to native speakers in Spanish class, Irene believes that we need to assess where they are and move forward from there. She recognizes that while many of them know how to speak Spanish, they do not know how to read or write Spanish, and they have much to gain from Spanish class.

Irene also offers this idea for teaching colors. Cover some food boxes and cans with colored paper. Then you can do a variety of the following:

  • Put the items in a grocery bag. Unpack the grocery bag, one at a time, and ask children to give you the name of the color.
  • Set out the colored items. Select one student to choose an item. Let that child say the name of the color in English. Another child then gives the Spanish word for that color.
  • Have students pack up the grocery bag. As they put each item in the bag, have them say the name of the color in Spanish.

 

heart4What Inspires Irene

Irene is inspired by being with children and seeing the love they have for learning. She enjoys hearing stories from her students about them being in their community—for example in a restaurant—and then telling her that they heard Spanish and were able to understand it. She is also rewarded by the love her students show her and the opportunity to give it back.

Circle TimeIf you would like to connect with Irene, you can visit her teacher page on the Christ the King School website or email her at iquinonez@ctk-catholic.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 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!

SunMeet Rebecca Schackow

Rebecca graduated from the University of Florida in 1999 with a degree in Spanish and Education. She moved to Denver, CO where she helped create the elementary and middle school Spanish program at St. Thomas Moore Catholic School. After teaching for two years, Rebecca moved back to Florida and spent twelve years raising her children. Two years ago she was offered the opportunity to teach Spanish at Brentwood School in Gainesville. Rebecca teaches Spanish to every class at Brentwood—two year olds to 5th grade—with each level receiving one class per week ranging from 15 to 30 minutes long. She travels to the preschool classrooms, and the elementary students come to her Spanish room for class.

BookHow Sonrisas Spanish is Effective for Rebecca

Rebecca started using Sonrisas Level I with all of her classes last year. The content was the same for everyone, but she differentiated the activities for age, space, and length of class time. She does not do any of the art projects with the preschoolers—instead doing a completely oral class with the songs, games, and stories. Rebecca appreciates the literature component of the Sonrisas curriculum. She remarks, “Children love books!” Rebecca values the time saved planning and trying to find good books in Spanish, with good illustrations, that fit the topics her students are studying. She says, “Sonrisas has done that research for me—what a gift!” Rebecca follows the Sonrisas curriculum pretty closely and moves at a slow and steady pace with her students. Last year she completed twelve lessons from Sonrisas Level I, and she expects to complete another twelve lessons this year. Last December Rebecca’s fourth and fifth grade classes practiced and performed the “Las Posadas” play (Lesson 32 in Sonrisas Level I) for some of the younger classes. They studied the history behind Las Posadas and practiced speaking and singing the lines of the play that is included in the curriculum. With simple costumes and props they performed the play, and it was wonderful.

lightbulb4Teaching Tips from Rebecca

Rebecca suggests that teachers need to be willing to look up something or create a new lesson plan if students show a real interest in a particular topic. For example, one of her students asked if they could learn the dance “Macarena.” Rebecca found a teaching video on YouTube, learned the dance, and taught it to her students. It was a lot of fun and a great way to get the wiggles out before class. Students learned about who wrote the song, who made the dance, where the song originated, and more. Rebecca says, “It was a great lesson—and one that I had never intended!”

heart4What Inspires Rebecca

Rebecca is inspired by learning. She loves to learn new things, and she loves to help people learn new things. She has loved studying and learning Spanish throughout her life and is thankful to be able to share what she knows with the children at Brentwood School. She finds Spanish to be a beautiful language that is fun to learn. Rebecca hopes to pass along her love of the language to her students.

Circle TimeIf you would like to connect with Rebecca you can reach her at gobrentwoodspanish@gmail.com or visit gobrentwoodschool.com.

 

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.

 

preschool spanish curriculum lessonsIt’s hard to argue with the benefits of bilingualism, but harder still to implement it into the daily life of your child — especially in America. Let’s be real: it often feels like everyone in the world already knows and speaks English, which can make it hard to immerse yourself in a foreign language.

According to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, more than two-thirds of the world’s children are bilingual, but in the United States, only 17% of the entire population speaks a second language. There is an added urgency when you consider that between the ages of 8 and 12 your child will lose much of their previous ability to reproduce new sounds. Very young children have a natural ability to learn new languages, and the closer they get to puberty, the more difficult language acquisition becomes.

All languages have value, but Spanish might be the most helpful and best language for children to learn in the United States. The frequency it is spoken and the geographic areas it covers can both help your child learn the language and use it. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide and is the second most-spoken language in the world. So if you’re looking for the best language for American kids to learn, there’s really only one practical option.

But how to bring language acquisition into your life and the life of your child? Check out these three tips for helping kids learn a foreign language.

Spanish Curriculum For Kids

When looking at school options, prioritize a program that has an elementary Spanish curriculum. Spanish for preschoolers will help them get very far ahead in terms of later, more complex learning. Preschool Spanish curriculum lessons are also designed to engage your child’s developing and evolving mind.

Read Spanish Books

Every night, read Spanish story books to your children. The illustrations and repetition will help you both to solidify words, grammatical conventions, and associations. Plus, foreign language will be more normalized in your home and you can branch out by watching Spanish-language movies and listening to Spanish music.

Learn From Each Other

Make learning Spanish your prerogative too. You and your child can label things around the house in Spanish, make a rule to speak Spanish in the mornings, and do activities in Spanish together. This will encourage you both to learn and make it a part of the daily routine.

The countless benefits of learning a second language and encouraging it in your child are numerous, plus, it’s fun! If you can’t find a school that teaches Spanish, buy preschool Spanish curriculum lessons and do it at home together.