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Teaching a preschooler a foreign language

409 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Butter
Anyone have some tips or resources to help? I've been telling my 2.5 year old the Spanish words for things, and he's picking up so much. My in-laws were shocked whne he started couting in Spanish last time we were there.
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I want to know, too! Especially materials that do not use dvds or video.
We are thinking of getting Muzzy for Spanish. Technically ds#1 will be Kinder age next year, but ds#2 will be preschool aged. Heck, my mom wants to come over and take lessons too. *big smilie* But, they use dvds or vhs, so that won't help if you don't want those media. *sorry smilie*
Our local library has a Spanish children's book section. Some are bilingual, but mostly pure Spanish. They have lots of familiar pictures and stories, so our dd makes the connections. One favorite is Agua, Agua, Agua - about a clever crow who figures out how to get some water on a hot day. Just a few words each page, and a great story. The library also has tapes & cds with familiar songs (Uno, dos, y tres amigos; centellear estrellita... ).

Writing short notes to your child in different languages (so they can ask you what it says) is another way to pique his or her interest.

If your child asks about a word you don't know, is a resource I've used.
My daughter (4) is taking a Spanish class from a woman who speaks Spanish in her home, has a few kids, and used to teach Spanish to young kids. It's very relaxed, 30 minutes once a week, with lots of singing and jumping around.

They have a little workbook and audio tape that goes with it. Occasionally the "homework" is to listen to a portion of the tape and follow the instructions in the workbook. Recently, the kids on the tape called out numbers and colors and Ramona had to find the number on the page and color it that color. I think the tape helps a lot because it reinforces listening skills, which I have found lacking in a lot of US language learning strategies. Plus, Ramona and Efram both love the tape and request it as their bedtime tape.

We bought a DK First Spanish Dictionary that the kids love. It has real pictures, not drawings, and is grouped by subject, not alphabetically. I think it has 1,000 words.

We play Candyland and Chutes and Ladders using Spanish colors and numbers.

I have gotten bilingual books out of the library. Ramona likes best the ones that are mostly in English with a few Spanish words thrown in.

We sing songs in Spanish.

I try to throw in the Spanish words that she knows/is learning into our everyday conversation, e.g., "Ramona, would you bring me the azul cup, por favor?"

I haven't yet but will soon start letting her work on Rosetta Stone.

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I found Muzzy to be rather useless (taught my kids NO Spanish even after many, many viewings) and the storyline was rather questionable and downright weird.

Read Spanish/English books, particularly ones that the child is familiar with already. Sing songs in Spanish. Watch videos in Spanish (most DVDs can be set to Spanish), again particularly ones the child is familiar with (start with short ones). See if your library has a Spanish section. I live in an area with a large Hispanic population so a lot of things around here are in both English and Spanish (signs and stuff) and there are lots of Spanish books and books on tape in the children's section.
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