Spanish is the most spoken language on planet Earth and one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Two good reasons for your children to have a knowledge of Spanish. Spanish is also considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn – especially for English speakers. Add all this to the fact that if you are in the UK, you don’t have to travel far to be in Spain!
Convinced? Ok, so let’s look at how you can teach Spanish to your children.
1. Start by talking about Spain! Ideally you want your child to be interested in Spain and the Spanish language, which will help them to be excited about learning Spanish. Try and interest them in how life is different in Spain compared to their daily lives e.g. Did you know everyone in Spain takes a “Siesta” after lunch and that school lunches are three courses? You could also talk about some of the history of Spain for older children. Giving your children a sense of intrigue about the country and its people will inspire them to learn!
2. Resources, Resources, Resources Unless you are simply relying on yourself to draw flashcards you may want to invest in or seek out books, flashcards, vocabulary sheets and other interesting language related items for your children. Personally, as a mum and a language teacher, I have always loved the Usborne language guides for children. But there are also other resources you can seek out online – especially vocabulary sheets or cartoon tv shows. You can also acquire comic books or magazines in the language.
3. Find games and learning programmes online There are a huge number of resources online, they can be a bit hit or miss. Recent years have seen a growth in the number of language startups aimed at teaching languages – Duolingo and Babbel come to mind, however these are generally not made for children and can be a bit grammar heavy. Memrise can be quite fun and is aimed at helping you remember vocabulary. The BBC has some good resources for years 8 and above.
4. Find a group to practice with It’s possible to find clubs or groups that meet locally and regularly where your child could go to speak a little Spanish. The best place to start looking is online, or by asking at your local school of clubs outside school hours. Perhaps you could start your own with like-minded parents – just stick to the “We are only speaking Spanish” rule!
5. Find a teacher Children don’t always like learning from their parents – especially as they become a little older! Why not look for a suitable teacher to come to your home and teach Spanish after school one day? New UK business Lingos is a great place to look for a language teacher with experience of teaching children.
Implement all five of these points and your children will be well on their way to speaking Spanish. The key is to find what works best for your child to keep their interest and capture their imagination.
About the Author: Beth Nicholas is a professional writer for Lingos – the online language learning community dedicated to pairing language teachers and learners, and providing a digital forum for learners to interact with like-minded students.