Sunday, April 26, 2009

Learning Spanish Here and There, Learning Spanish Everywhere!

We had a great trip and luckily returned without the swine flu drama that is sweeping the world. I pride myself on being the 'hand sanitizer queen', so my family was fairly safe while we had our Latin American getaway. My husband and I enjoyed a restful vacation, and my children spent precious time with Abuelita and practiced their Spanish. It was a pleasure to see our kids having practical experience using their skills and being immersed in the Spanish speaking culture.

One of our favorite experiences was a day trip we took in which we were the only American family on board El Barco Pirata! My daughter quickly made friends with the Mexican children and spent the day playing and interacting with her new Spanish speaking friends. This was a fabulous experience for her in that the learning was in a natural environment and she saw how her bilingual skills came in handy. Our shy son met a shy little mexicana, and they played silently together in the sand. Although there was little communication, our son too enjoyed his new playmate.

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel, however my husband and I continually seek cultural events and opportunities to expose our children to Spanish here at home. We just spent the day at a beautiful celebration of El Día de Los Niños at the local library, listening to Cuban jazz and watching Ballet Folklórico. We love finding great opportunities to continue to teach our children Spanish and expose them to their Hispanic culture. Whether it be abroad with Mexican children, or in our own kitchen chatting about what we are preparing for dinner, my husband and I are intentional about giving our kids the chance to enhance their language development and learn more Spanish.

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