Friday, November 7, 2008

Easy Tips to Teach Your Kids Spanish and FREE Giveaway!

We all know that young children need to learn in a realistic, fun, and interactive environment. Many parents from our Bilingual Fun language program ask me how they may continue their language development at home.

Even with limited language skills, there are many ways that families can continue their child's development and exposure to the language. We recommend Bilingual Fun Spanish for Children DVD series which introduces the language through music, movement, and fun activities. Children are able to remain engaged and sing, chant, and repeat along with the children in the DVDs. Active learning while keeping things relevant to their lives, is a key factor of language learning success. Reading, playing, and listening to music are fantastic ways to allow children to continue to hear the language and enhance their comprehension skills.

Music is an intergral part of the Bilingual Fun approach to teaching Spanish to children. Children and parents alike respond to catchy music, rhythmic beats as their pronunciation and fluency are enhanced. We use a wide variety of music to teach Spanish to children, and recently we have discovered a fabulous artist named Lilia Mareski. She shares my passion for teaching children Spanish, as well as her dedication to raising her own young children in a bilingual household. She has created a superb teaching tool with her CDs titled "Ms. Lily's Spanish Sing Alongs". They are full of bilingual songs in Spanish/English that teach so many different vocabulary topics ( colors, numbers, family, actions, telling time, weather, and much much more). I have been so pleased hear the fantastic feedback from my own students who have listened to her music and love the fun, sing along songs! You can purchase them from our Fun Shop as well.

Read more about Lilia and her story. Please leave a comment and we will choose one winner by November 15, 2009. The lucky winner will receive a MS. LILY'S SPANISH SING ALONG CD FREE!!! Don't miss your chance to give your child a fantastic, educational gift! Share your thoughts on teaching Spanish to children. Gracias!

Interview with Lilia Mareski from Ms. Lily's Spanish Sing Alongs:

1. Why did you choose to teach Spanish to young children?

My father is from Cuba and my mother is from Mexico, so I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be exposed to Spanish in the home while living in the USA. I felt that it was my responsibility to teach my children Spanish and to continue the language and culture, but realized that it would be more challenging for me than it was for my parents because my husband does not speak Spanish and is not a Latino.

I created Ms. Lily's Spanish Sing-Along I and II to involve my four children in the process of learning Spanish as their second language and to also help other Spanish teachers and parents (Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking) to teach Spanish.

2. How do you incorporate your family in the language learning process? I incorporated my family in the language learning process by having them help me create our wonderful bilingual teaching resources, Ms. Lily's Spanish Sing-Along I and II. I also develop their learning process by having them inrolled in my Spanish program, Ms. Lily's Spanish. The Birmingham School District has a Spanish program already implemented which starts in second grade, but my classes start children as early as 3 years of age. Lastly, I further develop their learning process by playing music by Latin artists and listening to movies in Spanish in addition to doing may other activities.

3. What is your background and experience? I was born in Mexico City but only lived there for the first three months of my life. I grew up in Texas City, Texas and received my degree in Education with a specialty in Bilingual Education from Stephen F. Austin in Texas.

4. Do you have any tips or suggestions for parents who want to raise their children in a bilingual household? My suggestion is to encourage parents to continue the process of exposing their children to Spanish. Any amount of exposure is an investment, but the biggest battle is to encourage the children to speak back. It is challenging to speak Spanish in my house because I am so Americanized and because the television and friends all speak in English, but I make it my priority to expose them to Spanish daily. It is not enough for them to understand Spanish; it is critical to have them speak Spanish. If they cannot recall what to say, tell them what they should say and have them repeat it. Then, I will take it a step further and after they repeat what I said, they have to say it once more without my help.

Suggestions from Ms. Lily on how to teach Spanish to your kids:

Read a book in Spanish
Read them a book in Spanish
Write their English spelling words in Spanish and to put those words in sentences
Watch movies in Spanish while traveling in the car.
Have one of my children read a story while in the car while the others listen.
Repeat everything I say in Spanish
Challenge them to say in Spanish what they just said in English.
Have challenging games at breakfast, lunch, or dinner or even in the car to recall vocabulary words from theamatic units we had studies in the past or to translate my English sentence correctly. Giving points points to the teams always makes it fun and more challenging.
Make a weekly assignment that is consistent every week. On example might be to use a Spanish/English dictionary and look up 10-20 words you do not know how to say in Spanish. Write those words in sentences in the days that follow.
Video any readings, songs, or have them recite their weekly homework to bring a sense of pride to their hard work.
Read recipes or directions on the back of products.
Cook a recipe and prepare a recipe in Spanish


AnonyMom said...

I can totally relate with having a child understand, but not respond in Spanish. This has been the most challenging thing in teaching my daughter Spanish. She responds well to singing songs in Spanish, so I try to get her to listen to all sorts of music whenever I can. This giveaway would help both me and my daughter out.


quitecontrary1977 said...

My daughter is just one, and we have one sing-a-long in Spanish cd that she adores. She isn't singing along yet, but I am! I think learning along with your kids is setting a great example, and it really encourages them to partcipate! Thanks for the great giveaway!

nicole viola said...

How fun! I'm teaching my daughter Spanish and this would be great as she LOVES music! I linked to your giveaway on my blog too!

Mindelicious said...

As an english-only speaker trying to support/reinforce what my daughter is learning in school, I want to thank you for sharing this product! Looks like it could help both of us!

Karen said...

This would be a great addition to our music library. My younger in particular really responds well to music. Thanks!

Monica said...

Great post. Thanks for introducing me to a new bilingual product out there! I certainly would love to review Ms Lilia's product.

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Rachael said...

Thanks so much for the Tips!!! I have started with this book called "Tim and Kim" by Kay Linda Nord. It is great because it has both English and Spanish (mexican not castilian) and bright and full of pictures. It really worked with my preschooler! Such a great response that I am so excited to find more!!! So, thank you so much.

here is where I found it -

Thanks again:) Fun to find a community doing the same thing.

Maestra Jen said...

hi rachel,

thanks for the recommendation of the Tim and Kim book. Looks great! I just tried to order it but their site wasn't working. I will keep trying though. It is great to meet other parents and educators dedicated to raising bilingual kids. THanks for stopping by! :)

Terri said...

My grandson has a Spanish heritage but neither of his parents speak Spanish so I am trying to teach him some.

t7135jt said...

The biggest problem I have is that only my 7 year old daughter knows Spanish and I don't know how to help her learn when I don't know any of it. I ask her to speak it or say words and I don't know if she is pronoucing the words correctly.

Diane said...

We often have a bilingual CD playing in our home. I love having my kids surrounded by languages they otherwise don't hear throughout their day. Music is one of the most effective ways for little brains to absorb new sounds! I blogged about your giveaway here:
Diane from Foreign Language Fun

silverhartgirl said...

My toddler son and I are learning Spanish together. He learns so much faster in songs.