They think it’s play, you know it’s Spanish learning…
We know that young kids love to sing, move & laugh. For a teacher or parent, this can be a super sly secret weapon…
I saw a parenting video once that said if you wanted your kids to be motivated to do something (picture brushing teeth, or picking up toys), the best way was to model doing it ENTHUSIASTICALLY, over-the-top! Like singing, laughing, and rushing to get there to load toothpaste onto your brush, or toss stuffed animals into bins…
We like to apply that notion of sly motivation to language learning. Here’s how:
- Pick some new phrases to introduce
- Do yourself a favor — choose phrases that move kids through your routine — getting in line, moving to a new activity, washing hands, rounding up for circle or to get coats on to go outside.
- Set your phrases to music or find songs that do this for you.
- Our En Mi Casa album is loaded with practical songs I wrote in Spanish (shameless plug!)
- Sing your tunes with enthusiasm & add gestures to help act out the meaning of what’s being sung.
NOW USE THESE SONGS as you go about your day…
Sing like a monster, sing like a mouse, sing with a lisp — just make it fun, and USE THE SONGS TO NARRATE THE CORRESPONDING ACTIVITY.
Bring energy to it — your kids will follow your lead, have fun, and they’ll be so distracted by your wonky gestures, they won’t even realize that they’re learning phrases you can then start using to actually communicate. Isn’t that what this is all about?
Have a great bilingual day!