Friday, December 19, 2008

Tex Mex Version of "Twas the Night..."

My kids always get a kick out of reading this funny verion of Twas the Night Before Christmas! Enjoy!

Tex Mex Version of Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring -- ¡Caramba! ¡Qué pasa!
Los niños were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.
Outside in the yard there arose such a grito
That I jumped to my feet like a fightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?
Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero.
Jim and Nita Lee (Dec. 1972)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Great Bilingual Product!

Introducing..... Lorito Books! I have really enjoyed using these beautifully written and illustrated bilingual audiobooks with my children. My kids love listening to audio stories and these magical books bring the Spanish language alive. The illustrations are gorgeous and the stories are Latin inspired and showcase the culture we love. The books are bilingual, so parents with limited experience with the language can easily use these fantastic books as teaching tools. We will be incorporating the audio books in our Bilingual Fun language classes as well. Teaching Spanish to children through audio books will enhance their listening comprehension, fluency, and pronunciation. Audio books are a superb tool for listening comprehension and identifying words and images, which enhances a young child's language development. I am always on the lookout for worthwhile and superb teaching tools that I may use as I teach Spanish to children. Lorito Books have hit the mark! I would like to share some great information from Pam at Lorito Books. Don't miss out on the great special they are offering!

What is Lorito Books?
Lorito Books is a publisher dedicated to producing audio materials that help children learn a second language as well as improve their reading abilities. �Our books are used by English as a second language and Spanish as a second language learners. We publish titles that are written and illustrated in Spanish or Spanish/English by Latin American or U.S. Latino authors. We look for titles that are culturally relevant and promote positive values. We DO NOT produce translations of general market books such as Goodnight Moon. Our mission is to promoting the Latin voice in North America because we feel that it is often under-represented or misunderstood. We use the audio format because it is a powerful learning tool and can bring books to life.

How did you get interested in bilingual learning?
I started studying Spanish when I was in 7th grade. It was my Jr. High rebellion because at that time, in my home state of Michigan, everyone was studying French. I studied Spanish through High School and college and have spoken it all of my adult life. I have found it to be extremely useful here in the West in social situations, travel and work.

When my youngest daughter was 10 years old we started traveling annually to Chihuahua, Mexico to work with an orphanage. We went with other families at our church and I observed the children trying really hard to connect with the kids at the orphanage. They often resorted to the universal language of hand signals, which was surprisingly effective but it struck me how motivated and receptive kids areat that age to learn a second language.

My professional experience with audiobooks was as a Sales Manager for an audiobooks distributor based in Colorado. We sold to public, school and military libraries all over the U.S. We often had requests from librarians for Spanish language books yet there was very little material available. �Librarians try to provide materials that serve all segments of their community and in many parts of the U.S. the Spanish speaking population is over 40%. Community outreach to the Spanish speaking community is especially important because libraries are a valuable resource for immigrants assimilating into U.S. culture. The challenge is that they usually don't have a frame of reference because the concept of a Public Library providing free access to materials is unique.

Do you have any specials that you are offering?
Our books are available on We are offering special holiday pricing of $15 for the paperback sets and $20 for the hardback sets. Shipping is free on orders over $30. To get the Bilingual Fun discount, call 800-420-6936. We will bill customers through our PayPal account, which takes all major credit cards.

We also have limited stock of our Spanish titles, which are very sweet values-oriented stories and are perfect for more advanced Spanish listeners/readers. Audio clips for all of the books can be found on our website.

*Pam just returned from La Feria Internacional de Libros in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is some of the information that she presented which supports the use of audio books as beneficial teaching tools:

"The title was not intended to diminish the importance of reading. On the contrary, we recognize that reading is more important that ever in our complex world.�Without a doubt, children who have success with reading are more likely to have success in life.

Reading experts all agree that reading aloud is the most important way to establish strong reading skills. By listening to a book children hear a story can come to life. They are exposed to languages, dialect and sounds.� It also exposes children to reading fluency: they hear what it sounds like to read without difficulty.

In spite of the importance of reading aloud, the reality is that it just isn't possible for parents or teachers to do it as often as necessary. Like my family when my children were young, parents have many other responsibilities. In the classroom, teachers are often overwhelmed with large classes and limited staff.

Audiobooks are a solution to these issues. Not only are they are a read-aloud substitute for parents and teachers, I believe they can enhance the read-aloud experience.

Children are able to listen and comprehend at least three years above their grade level in reading. Audiobooks can help students with reading disabilities by giving them access to information they are able to understand but are unable to read. This is very important in keeping children at grade level."