Celebrity parents, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling, explained in an interview they are struggling to teach their children Spanish. Mendes confessed teaching Spanish is harder than she thought; especially that she’s speaking “Spanglish” (Spanish and English). She said this way of speaking is what their daughters pick up.
Children can learn a language without formal training. They acquire the skill through interactions with other people, including parents and other children. The language people use to interact with them is what children usually acquire. Since Mendes doesn’t speak full Spanish, it makes sense for her children struggle to speak the language, too.
Although Spanish figures frequently in listings for the easiest foreign languages to learn, teaching it to children will require certain strategies. Fortunately, kids do pick up language fast as long as they start at an early age.
Helping Students Focus on Learning the Language
Children can learn a second language at an early age. When they are three, for instance, they can develop their language skills rapidly and easily absorb what they hear. A good starting point is to choose Spanish books designed for creative teachers because such references would provide out-of-the-box strategies.
Here are some techniques you may find:
1. Listen to Spanish Music
Music helps establish words and sounds in a child’s brain. It also helps them remember vocabularies thorough catchy rhythms. Sing and dance with your students to make your class more enjoyable. You can also watch music videos to provide visual cues.
2. Incorporate Spanish in Daily Routines
Exposure to the language is one way to help them learn faster. Start with using common Spanish phrases, and use them organically. For example, you can make conversational Spanish a habit by ensuring everyone speaks it when they’re in class. You can also speak the foreign language in any type of situation, from giving directions to greeting students. The more students speak it, the easier they’ll learn Spanish.
3. Take Advantage of the Technology
Living in a digital age gives you access to a wider selection of learning tools. You can now find applications that can supplement your student’s learning of Spanish. Use the apps for different exercises, be it for reading, writing, speaking, or listening.
4. Challenges in Teaching Children Spanish
Teaching Spanish vocabularies is a challenge teachers often face. But several Spanish and English words have similar spelling and meaning, including “la cultura,” which means culture and “la naturaleza,” meaning nature. These words are easier to remember than Spanish words that look similar to English but have a different meaning.
Putting the words together to form a sentence can also be complicated. The speaker should understand the difference between Spanish and English grammar. Mistakes in the structure can change the meaning of the sentence.
Teaching a foreign language to children is fun and challenging. Through proper training and practice, you can make your classes enjoyable and effective for your students. Creativity and proper classroom management also engage young learners in your class and help them become bilingual (or multilingual) adults in a competitive world.