Archive for the ‘Language Learning Resources’ Category

The Bilingual Rebellion: Tips to overcome it!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

 

After having a great discussion and Hangout on Google + with Spanglishbaby and Jeanette Kaplum, I wanted to follow up on the idea of battling “ Bilingual Rebellion”.    It was a great event and lots of people chimed in with tips and questions.   I was bummed that my video function wasn’t compatible for some reason, but my audio worked, so I shared a bit of my two cents on the issue.

 

If you are a parent or teacher raising or teaching bilingual children, you may face ‘the rebellion’ at some point.    Here are some more tips to avoid and get through this stage:

 

  1. Remain positive:  don’t discipline or correct kids all of      the time.  Use praise and positive reinforcement.  Kids will be more      motivated to speak when they don’t feel like it is a chore.  Keep things light!

 

  1. Restate in Spanish.  We have all been there… you ask the kids something in Spanish and they respond is English. Ay Caramba!  Without making an issue, simply restate their answer in Spanish and move on.       With our own kids, we often restate their answer incorrectly or   give a choice.  This encourages them to correct us and keep the conversation going.  Here is a sample conversation with my son yesterday:   Yo:  ¿cuántos minutos leiste anoche?  Hijo:       thirty- five.  Yo: Muy bien…      treinta y cinco o cuarenta?       Hijo:  treinta y cinco.

 

  1. Focus on Fun:   motivate kids by encouraging their  communication through themes that they are interested in or relevant to their lives:

Retelling stories:  Even if you read a story in English, retell the story in Spanish.  Talk about the characters, feelings, etc.

Guessing games… Estoy pensando en un animal que….

Think Quickly:  Nombra 5 colores… Nombra 5 animales… Nombra 5  juguetes, etc.

Number games/ Math games:  Use dice and do sumas/ restas.  Practice math drills and tables in Spanish.

Board/Card games:  all games can easily be modified to play in Spanish.   Easier ones for toddlers CandyLand, Chutes and Ladder,      Go      Fish… older  kids- Pictionary, Picturecka, Uno, War/Guerra, etc.

Imaginative play w/ dolls/stuffed animals-  set up a doctor’s office or vet or restaurant.  Let the conversation flow!

Active games:  Kinesthetic activities really stimulate some many learning styles.  Play catch w/ a beach ball and count as high as you can in Spanish.  Count by 2’s, or 5’s.  Put objects on the floor, have kids jump over them and say the color, or any topic you want them to practice. Play  “What time is it Mr. Fox? “ We say ‘ ¿Qué hora es Sr. Elefante?  Kids count the steps in Spanish and practice telling time.

 

4.  Exposure:  keep talking, reading, and listening to music.  Check out your local library for the International Juvenile collection and find some different books that peak your child’s interest. Most libraries have books on CDs and this is a great way for kids to enhance their language exposure.  Music:  singing enhances pronunciation and fluency.  Practice singing songs in Spanish that the kids know,and then have a concert and video them.  They will love watching themselves on camera.  My daughter taught her friend the lyrics to Celia Cruz song recently and they made up a little salsa dance routine.  Costumes and all!  We filmed it and they had a blast, singing and dancing, and then of course rewatching themselves several times.

No matter what, if you are passionate about your kids and students speaking and learning Spanish, keep doing what you are doing!  The rebellion stage eventually will pass and someday your bilingual kids will be thanking you for your dedication and patience!

Valentine Wordsearch in Spanish

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

 

Valentine’s Day is this week and you may be looking for some quick, simple activities for your kids who are learning Spanish. Here is a simple buscapalabras for elementary age kids.  As an extension activity, have kids make una tarjeta with the Valentine themed words and give to a family member or friend.   Kids will have fun learning Spanish with this fun, easy activity!

Valentine Wordsearch in Spanish, download here. :-)

 

Kids Learn Spanish with Candy House Decorating

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

 

Kids love to decorate candy houses!  Chances are, if you have children, you will be probably be doing this activity at some point during the holiday season!  Take this opportunity to sneak some Spanish into this fun, festive activity.

  • 1. Make colored patterns with the candies as you decorate the house ( rojo, verde, rojo, verde, etc)
  • 2. Practice house vocabulary ( el techo, la pared, la ventana, la puerta, la chimenea, etc)
  • 3. Count the quantities of candy on each section.
  • 4.Create a story or description about the family that lives in the house… La familia Manriquez vive en está casa bonita que está en el bosque…

Kids learn Spanish best when they are interacting and doing hands on activities.  Decorating candy houses are a great way to keep the language learning alive this holiday season!

Spanish Halloween Activities for Kids

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

With Halloween rapidly approaching, parents and teachers can easily use the holiday as a focus for reinforcing Spanish words and teaching new ones.  Whether in a classroom or at home, we would like to share some fun Spanish Halloween activities for kids.

Numbers and Feelings

  • Cut out pumpkins/las calabazas ( or Target dollar bins and Dollar Tree have them this season).
  • Write various numbers, or for older kids math equations on one side.
  • On the other side draw emotions.
  • Spread out on the floor or table and ask kids to find various numbers and/or emotions.
  • Reinforce  feliz, triste, enojado, sorprendido, bien, mal, cansado, etc.

 

 

Guessing Game/ ¿Qué falta?

  • Use a Pumpkin/ Una Calabaza or Sr. Papa for body parts reinforcement.
  • Review and practice los ojos, la nariz, la boca, las orejas.
  • Ask kids to close their eyes and take a part away.  Kids have to guess the word in Spanish.  Then switch and let kids hide the part.
  • Guessing is a great way to illict conversation and language production!
  • Here is an example of Sr. Papa and the ¿Qué falta? game. :)

10 Fantasmas…. 10 Brujas

Do your kids like to sing?  Here is a super easy song to help kids learn Spanish.  Sung to the tune of 10 Little Indians.

Download the lyrics and activities here.

 

Practice Your Spanish Skills with Trabalenguas

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Teach Spanish to children and adults with fun, rhyming tongue twisters!   This is a great way to test your pronunciation skills and practice the Spanish language.   In our Bilingual Fun classes, we use rhyming as a teaching technique to identify and learn the sounds of the language.  Kids and adults alike have fun practicing these easy tongue twisters/ trabalenguas.  Give it a try and don’t forget the Spanish vowel sounds… those are the key to correct pronunciation.

A E  I O U… el burro sabe más que tú.

Pepe Pecas pica papas con un pico,  con un pico pica papas Pepe Pecas.

Yo no como coco, y porque como poco coco, poco coco compro

Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal. En un trigal, tragaban trigo, tres tristes tigres.

Erre con erre cigarro, erre con erre barril.  Rápido corren los carros, cargados de azúcar al ferrocarril.

 

 

Bilingual Music for Kids!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Mister G Presents Tasty New Bilingual Songs:


Chocolalala

 

I love the title of this fun Cd!  Chocolalala is bilingual Cd filled with a wide range of musical styels from bossa nova to ska, funk to folk, rap to pop. Kids will love the 11 songs on this Cd which are easy to sing along with in Spanish and English.

 

Inspired by Mister G’s concert tours throughout Latin America, this new album has captivating Latin rhythms and melodies, that parents and children alike will enjoy.  Catchy and educational, the songs teach about counting, colors and nature, and celebrate the joys of eating chocolate, dancing and riding on the school bus with friends.

 

As a teacher, I love finding bilingual Cds that I can use in my classroom and introduce to my students. Chocolalala hits the mark!    Bailamos is a great song to teach and reinforce geography as it sings about different cities and counties.  My kids love Chocolalala, as it names many different foods, and is an excellent song to practice pronunciation and fluency.

 

This wonderful bilingual Cd, produced and engineered by Mister G, also features world class musicians, the voices of bilingual families, and performances by Miser G’s former elementary school students.

Be sure to visit www.mistergsongs.com and check out a local concert if you are in the area.

 

We have 2 copies of Chocolalala to giveaway!  In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month,  leave a comment here or on Facebook and tell us why you want your children to be bilingual.  We will choose 2 winners from those who leave comments.

 

 

Summer Word Search Spanish for Kids

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Fun Summer Word Search in Spanish

Teach kids Spanish with a fun Summer Word Search!  If you are looking for a quick, easy Spanish activity to keep your bilingual kids busy this summer, here is a fun Summer Word Search.  Additional activities that I do with my kids after they have completed the buscapalabras include:  make a picture using as many of the words as they can, label each picture, use the words as a writing prompt,  play charades with the words, etc.  Buena Suerte!

Download Buscapalabras here.

Father’s Day Spanish Activity

Monday, June 11th, 2012

All parents love a handmade card or gift! Here is a very simple Father’s Day language activity that you can do with your young children, or have older children  complete on their own.  There are some simple fill in the blank statements for children to describe their father.  It is an easy language practice for kids learning Spanish because the phrases are simple and they can use basic Spanish to fill in the blanks, or they can be as descriptive as they like.  My son wanted to put a photo of his dad on the page, but you can have kids draw a picture of their dad, or illustrate some of his favorite things.  Add this to your Father’s Day card or gift.  Be sure to have your children practice saying ” Feliz Dia del Padre”  and ‘ Te quiero mucho Papí”.

Download the Father’s Day Spanish Activity here.

 

Qué Cosas Dice Mi Abuela!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

 

I love this book by Ana Galán distributed by Scholastic en español!  The whimsical illustrations go along perfectly with the descriptions and character expressions.  The dichos and descriptions are entirely in Spanish, yet children can use the illustrations as picture clues if they are uncertain of some word meanings.  Everyone’s Grandma or Abuela has their own sayings that they often repeat and this cute book has some fantastic sayings/ reminders for good manners  Although I do not have a Spanish speaking Abuela, I do have a fabulous Suegra who is full of dichos y refranes.  I enjoyed reading the sayings in this book because it also reminded me of the time I spent working in a Casa Hogar in Mexico.  The nuns were always telling the girls…. ” Bien vestidos, bien recibos”    or ‘ De mal o buen aspecto, todos merecen respeto”.   My favorite that we use in our home thanks to my children’s Abuelita is ‘ En boca cerrada no entran moscas”!    These familiar sayings are a great tool for teaching good manners and Spanish speaking children will get a kick out of hearing dichos that their grandparents have told them.  This is a great book for bilingual children and as a teaching tool for kids that are learning Spanish.

 

Bilingual Fun Chosen for Top 100 Language Lovers Blog Contest

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Bilingual Fun is so honored to have been nominated and then chosen for the Top 100 Language Lovers Blog Contest 2012! There are 4 categories and Bilingual Fun is included in the Language Learning Category. We would be so honored if our readers and amigos would take a second to vote for us. It is fantastic that Lexophiles has created this contest and is bringing awareness of the importance and benefits of language learning!

Please click on the link below to vote.  Mil gracias!

Vote the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2012

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