Spanish Learning Methods
Top 5 Spanish Learning Methods for Children
Your child receives the best possible immersion-method instruction during their time at SIW—but what can you do to reinforce their progress at home? Here are some fun, easy ways to continue your child’s immersive experience at home and in the car.
Listen to Spanish Songs & Children’s Programming
Music is one of the best ways to reinforce language-learning. Research has shown that students of all ages retain more vocabulary when it’s presented in song form. And even newborns can listen to music!
- Pandora: With a free account on the Pandora streaming service, you can find tons of Spanish-language, kid-friendly music. For the under 5 set, try searching “canción de cuna” (this is Spanish for “lullaby”) to generate an entire station on this theme.
- Rockalingua: This site provides many fun, free children’s songs, complete with lyrics and illustrations!
- Canciones Infantiles: These free songs from Aprender Espanol include videos and lyrics to follow along to—great for a variety of ages.
- The Songs for Teaching website provides an array of Spanish-language songs, including traditional selections and curated early-childhood songs.
Set Aside a Time to “Think” in Spanish
If you’re willing to participate in your child’s language development, consider taking a moment each day to practice “thinking” in Spanish. You can practice any time, but making it a small, consistent habit makes all the difference. A great time to do this is in the kitchen while cooking, outside during walks or playtime, or right before bed. Ask your child to talk about the everyday objects around them, using as many Spanish words as they can. Older and more advanced speakers can practice delivering full sentences!
Watch Videos in Spanish
Cartoons can be a big help for language learners of any age, since they are designed for viewers that don’t have a sophisticated vocabulary. Even if your child doesn’t know every word, they’ll be able to follow the story!
- Search YouTube for “cuentos infantiles” to find many animated folktales and fairytales for children.
- Minimalitos is a Spanish cartoon about children who go to kindergarten together. Search YouTube for “Minimalitos en español” for European Spanish, and “Minimalitos en Latino” for Latin American Spanish.
- Fisher Price Vídeos Para Bebés is a great series geared toward toddlers and pre-schoolers. The series tells funny short stories that progressively introduce new vocabulary—a great bonus feature is that new vocab words are spelled out on screen as they’re introduced, making them great for older children getting started with their Spanish learning.
- Mini Einsteins is a cartoon about four child explorers who travel the world in their rocket ship! The show teaches lessons about art, culture and geography. Search YouTube for “Mini Einsteins en español” for European Spanish, and “Mini Einsteins en Latino” for Latin American Spanish.
- Bonus: Dora the Explorer is a popular English-language show on the Nick Jr. channel that teaches a Spanish phrase in every episode. If your child is already a fan, there’s also a Spanish-language version called “Dora la Exploradora en español.”
- For more advanced speakers, try the adorable show Puffin Rock en español on Netflix!
Practice Writing Every Day
If your child is old enough to be writing words in English, they can practice in Spanish too! Fold some Spanish-only time into the time they’re already spending practicing their English handwriting and vocabulary. Use any take-home materials provided by SIW, and try the vocabulary lists available at Lingolex.
Find Their Favorite Books in Spanish
Did you know that there are Spanish-language versions of most of the top children’s books? Reading stories your child is already familiar with is a great, easy way to absorb and reinforce vocabulary. Try reading both versions side-by-side. Some books even come in bilingual editions. If you are not proficient in reading Spanish, look for books that come with an audio CD, just remember to enjoy the book together with your child.
Here are just a few popular English-language books that are available in Spanish:
- Goodnight, Moon (Buenas Noches, Luna)
- Green Eggs and Ham (Huevos Verdes con Jamón)
- Harold and the Purple Crayon (Harold y el Lapiz Color Morado)
- Are You My Mother? (¿Eres Mi Mama?)
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar (La Oruga Muy Hambrienta)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué Ves Ahí?)
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Si le Das Una Galletita a un Ratón)
- Where the Wild Things Are (Donde Viven Los Monstruos)
- The Giving Tree (El Árbol Generoso)