“Our Culture, Our Traditions, Our Language Are The Foundations Upon Which We Build Identity”—Bilingual is Better by Ana L. Flores & Roxana A. Soto
Creating an environment for your child to learn a second language doesn’t have to be so challenging once a family makes a commitment to the goal, and creates habit-forming behaviors.
According to most bilingual educators, early learners should be exposed to each language on a daily basis. So here are five daily activities to help you accomplish just that.
1. “Se habla español” Upon Entering Your Home
Unless your children are in an immersion school, they’re hearing English all day. Therefore, make a commitment to speak español upon entering your home. As an art project, create a sign with your child that says, “En la casa se habla español.” You can also take it a step further and create flash cards with the names of all the furniture and appliances. Create a 5-minute daily habit of walking around your home while having your children name all they see in Spanish.
2. Español at the Dinner Table Ensure the conversation at the dinner table is conducted in Spanish. Start off the ceremonial experience with a rhyme to get the conversation started: “Zanahoria, remolacha, pepino, lechuga, y col. Pimentón, perejil y ñame fortalecen el corazón.”
3. A Call to Abuela, el Tio or la Prima Make a list of your Spanish dominant family members and friends, and put them on the call list for your child to sing them a short Spanish song like “Los pollitos dicen pio pio.” Lots of fun songs available on Youtube.
4. Visit Oznoz.com Oznoz.com is a website with unlimited access to high quality children’s cartoons in 10+languages. Start your free trial and turn on Plaza Sesamo, Musty 3D and Might Jungle, all available in Spanish.
5. Read a Bedtime Story in Spanish Chose an age appropriate children’s book in Spanish that authentically depicts and celebrates Latino culture. Here’s a list of award winning children’s books.
Do you have your own ways of incorporating español into daily life with children? Share them with our community by tweeting us @Hip_Latina