If you want your little one to learn Spanish, now’s the best time to make it happen. A study on the Spanish vocabulary growth of kids between 16 and 30 months emphasizes that the early learning environment greatly affects preliteracy and numeracy skills. The home literacy environment, your input, and even your beliefs significantly impact your kid’s ability to communicate in Spanish at home and in school.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to support their learning journey. You can build the foundations of their Spanish skills through the following tips:
Start by speaking to them in Spanish at home
You are your kid’s role model. So if you want them to be fluent in this language, our article entitled ‘How Do You Talk to Kids in Spanish’ outlines how you have to regularly communicate with them using basic words and phrases. You can start with easy words that you can use at home, like “vámonos” for “let’s go” or “a comer” for “time to eat”.
By speaking these basic words and phrases, your kid will follow your example and use these words someday.
Develop their literacy skills through art education
Art may seem irrelevant to language acquisition. However, learning about art can actually build the foundation for your kid’s Spanish and creative skills.
You can encourage your kid to learn Spanish through art with the help of our Art Study in Spanish bundle. This bundle includes a lesson plan, instruction guide, and an art study basics guide to help you plan out your introduction to each artist, artwork, and art elements in Spanish. The bundle also contains worksheets and artwork notes, which your kid can use to describe and share their thoughts about certain artworks.
Play Spanish songs to develop their listening skills
Another creative way to encourage learning is to play Spanish songs at home. Maryville University explains that a child’s literacy develops from the rhymes and phrases they hear, which is why you can use music to learn a new language. Though the phrases from nursery rhymes may seem simple, these songs enhance their ability to listen to basic phonological distinctions in words, phrases, and sentences.
To make learning more fun, try to play Spanish nursery rhymes like Arroz Con Leche or Estrellita dónde estás. Soon, you might hear your kid sing along with the song!
Choose a school that supports their language development
You can speed up your kid’s language learning by enrolling them in a dual language immersion school.
These foreign language immersion schools are commonly public schools, making it very affordable for families who want their children to have a bilingual education. Verywell Family also notes that these schools must meet the educational needs of students with IEPs and 504 plans. This ensures that kids with special needs can effectively learn new languages like Spanish. Due to these advantages, these schools tend to have long waiting lists or even lotteries due to their high demand among parents.
Employ alternative teaching styles for kids with disabilities
If your little one has special needs, you can teach them how to speak Spanish through alternative teaching styles.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Oregon found that kids with special needs could effectively develop their phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge using print-focused conversations. These print-focused conversations are highly effective, especially among kids with speech-language impairments or developmental delays. Each kid may have different learning needs, so you should also consider how you can personalize their language acquisition process.
Your kid will become proficient in Spanish, especially if you lay down the right foundations for their learning process. By trying out different learning strategies, you can improve their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Spanish.
Written by Sophia Levi