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20+ reasons why you should rise your child bilingual

madre

I believe strongly in bilingualism, IfI could I would teach everybody Spanish, English and more I would do it.  That is why it is a pleasure to have Brooke Neuman as guest today writing about such an important matter. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Are you searching for new ways to improve your child’s future? Raising your child bilingual…
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Because everyday counts routine

calendario1

Many schools started classes last month.  In this Spanglish house we started last week.  A whole full year of knowledge, fun and surprises are awaiting for us!  Of course this year will have more Spanish because kiddos are growing and Spanish is more spoken en esta casa. We start our school days with a Calendar, in…
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Lecciones aprendidas de la copa mundial

lessons from the wc

Cuando te conviertes en madre, cada cosa que pasa se convierte en lección para nuestros hijitos.  De repente queremos enseñarles todo y de todo, y hasta la mínima experiencia se convierte en una oportunidad. La Copa Mundial de Fútbol no fué la excepción, como familia vimos algunos partidos, exploramos un poco de Geografía, hicimos matemáticas y por…
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Tips to design your Bilingual Strategy

english mouth with a Spanish brain

A week ago I was wondering why my kids are still not speaking the minority language, even though they can understand me.  I arrived to these simple reasons,   Lack of exposure   Need of Immersion programs   Lack of Cultural Immersion   As a minority language provider I still speak the majority language  …
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Immersion: I was in “Spanish mode” and forgot to switch back to English

I have been thinking in the bilingual brain and how it works without our help.  When I was learning English, I stopped translating when I was completely immersed in English (my second language), I could not just float in the bilingual waters, it was time to swim!

Here is Rebekah’s immersion experience in Guatemala, or as she called it her time to dive in head first and go for it!

When I started learning Spanish it was kind of a “eh. whatever.” thing for me. I enjoyed learning it, it came fairly easily for me, I just didn’t see the point really, you know.

In the summer of 2010, I had the opportunity to go to Guatemala. That was the first time I was surrounded by Spanish for more than 2 hours at a time.

It was so neat to be able to understand what people were saying (or at least get the sorta-kinda gist of their conversations) and to be able to speak to them in my broken, sprinkled with mistakes, Spanish.

And that’s when I decided. I decided I want to be fluent. Almost 3 years later, no hablo con fluidez, but that’s okay, I’m still working towards it.

It scared me at first; actually, it still scares me, that’s something I’m working on. I’m too worried about messing it up and sometimes I miss opportunities, but that’s another story.

El verano pasado, I had the privilege to be able to take a second trip down to Guatemala..and use that Spanish I had been working on. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

It scared me at first; actually, it still scares me, I’m a bit of a perfectionist so messing anything up kind of bothers me, so I’m learning that sometimes, you just have to dive in head first and go for it.

In one town we worked, we built chicken coops for two families. Porque I spoke the most Spanish of the group who went down, I was the one who was sent on walks to la tienda with someone to get food for lunch or other various things.

The things we talked about weren’t really of much importance. Hablamos del tiempo y tal cosas. I asked if the ladies I saw were haciendo tortillas para venderse. They asked what part of the US I was from. Those conversations weren’t deep or profound, but they meant a lot to me, they built Spanish speaking confidence and made me remember how much I liked speaking it.

Those little walks stretched me—I was so worried about messing up, but you know what, they didn’t mind if I mixed up a feminine or masculine article every now and then. They appreciated anyone’s efforts to speak any Spanish to them. And were excited when someone spoke just enough to engage in some decent small talk.

I was able to connect with the people who spoke absolutely no English. Can people connect even with a language barrier? Absolutely. But there is just something so special about being able to converse with someone in their native idioma.

I was able to laugh at at a joke while riding in the back of a truck. I was able to ask questions about a store, I was able to order at a restaurant. I was able to give other people in our group rough translations.

Oh—and funny story, in the Guatemala City airport, as we were going through security one of the employees (a Guatemalan man) asked me, “Is this your bag?” to which I responded:

“Sí, es nuestra.”

“Oh! ¿Hablas español?”

“Sí, yes, I mean, no. Well, English is better.”

After getting over how awkward that was, I realized how cool it was. I was in “Spanish mode” and forgot to switch back to English. That was the first time I ever really spoke without thinking at all. I want to be able to do that, all the time. To be able to Just hear something and just switch over to español effortlessly. That’s bilingualism.

And that’s the goal.

 

 

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Teaching shapes and making a Thanksgiving box

When you have the lesson of shapes coming and Acción de Gracias around the corner, you can always get creative and teach preschoolers shapes in Spanish while making a Thanksgiving Turkey Box.

What do you need for the Box.

  • An empty kleenex box.
  • Paper
  • Scissors and Glue
  • A compass and a ruler
  • Colors

Teaching shapes,

The first part of my lesson I introduce shapes and their names in Spanish, most of the forms are cognates, sound very similar in Spanish and in English.

As you put the craft together you must repeat every shape you are using in Spanish.  After 2 or 3 times, the children will start naming them in Spanish.

You will need to draw and cut

  • 2 Estrellas  (stars)
  • One círculo (circle) 15cm of diameter
  • Another circulo, 5cm diameter
  • One triángulo (triangle), for the beak
  • One heart cut in two
  • 2 small eyes or paper eyes
  • Hands of each of the kids traced on paper, colored and cut.
  • One rectángulo (rectangle) or cuadrado (square) same length and width as the Kleenex box.

Here the pictures of the assemble process.

I apologize for the turkey face full of glue, it is hard to get the glue in place with a 3 year old in charge of the gluing.

Tips for the Notes

  • The open side of the Kleenex  box, is left open to let the kids insert their Thank you notes (or notas de Agradecimiento).
  • The notes can be cuadradas (squares)
  • The kids can name one thing, at a time, that they are thankful for.
  • You can do it once a day or as often as you want.
  • Try to do it every day at the same time.
  • Do not forget, they may not repeat the same thing again.
  • Do it in Spanish, and increase their vocabulary.
  • Remember, thankfulness brings happiness.

Song and Video for the Craft.

After they put the box together, I taught them this song.

I am thinking we may have this turkey fruit for Thanksgiving day. I found it at Sheknow.com.  Who knows I may just do it to teach fruits en Español to my American relatives.