What is the best way to make learning spanish both fun and educational?
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There are tons of ways! You can incorporate lots of Latino media, such as music, commercials, newspapers, magazines (especially People en Espanol), etc. Also, if you have access to youtube in the classroom, you can pull up videos of hispanic music that have lyrics accompanied. This way, they get to work on vocabulary both written and auditory.
I always enjoyed watching the Disney films, such as El Rey de los Liones.... the students learn vocabulary, as they are able to recognize the scenes yet learn new words for the same events.
Best of luck with it! I'm looking forward to seeing what some others have to offer here in this thread.
I myself have decided to embrace Dora the Explorer and Diego. I like to read the books and watch episodes with the children. When we come across a spanish word, we then label the object or action. For instance, if we learn the word for desk (escritorio) we make a label and put it on the desk. Then we use the Spanish word in place of the English. If we learn an action such as "Let's Go" ( Vamanos) we use it. For example I may say, "Class, it's time for recess, vamanos!" Then I would have the children take turns using it a sentence. The best thing is labeling and using. The younger students absorb it very quickly.
Having the students learn the calendar, weather and colors is also an excellent way to start. The children feel so smart when they can use another language! You will see the excitement!
I have also used books that have both language texts. I like to read the Spanish version while the children look at the picture. Then I ask the students to tell me what they think is happening in English. Then I read the English text and we see how correct we were. This can be a fun game.
I hope this helps you! Enjoy!
I think the best way is to let them use Spanish in normal life as much as they can! Watching Spanish cartoons or movie is the best way to become familiar with Spanish. Young kids absorb foreign language naturally as they watch videoes. This way is actually used a lot for ESL students who want to learn English. They start watching English movies and later they start to watch without subtitles.
Also, another way is to have a skit in Spanish. Give them an hour or two to make a Spanish script and practice. Then, let them perform a short skit- may be 5 to 10 mintues- in Spanish. That way, students will learn how to use Spanish they have learned in class in a normal life.
I have never taught Spanish, but I have supervised interns and student teachers who were Spanish teachers and have training and certification in TOEFL. Basically, think back to your kindergarten. Make use of lots of labeling, and plenty of talking!
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