Increasingly, parents are realising the benefit of teaching their children a second language. With globalisation, the boundaries between different countries are blurring in the corporate world. Children who grow up speaking more than one language have a competitive edge in the workplace as adults. Spanish is easily taught at home and is spoken in numerous countries throughout the world. Parents choosing to teach their children Spanish at home can use simple strategies to provide effective instruction.
- Skill level:
Teach the child a few phrases of conversational Spanish to give her a feel for the language when she starts learning it for the first time. Start with commonly heard phrases such as "adios amigo."
Teach the child the Spanish alphabet by enunciating each letter and then asking the child to imitate the sound. Identify the role of accents on the letters as she goes through them.
Provide the child with a daily set of Spanish vocabulary words on index cards. Write a Spanish word on one side of the index card and the definition of the word on the other side. Ask her to practice pronouncing each word repeatedly while connecting the word to its definition in her mind. Quiz her on the words and their definitions until she is able to successfully give you correct answers 90 per cent of the time.
Provide the child with a tutorial on the basics of Spanish sentence structure. Teach her the sequence of how different parts of speech occur in a sentence. As an example, teach her that adjectives are placed after nouns in Spanish sentences. Have her create simple sentences using her vocabulary words.
Teach children numbers and counting with the use of flash cards. Write the symbol that represents the number on one side of the flash card and the Spanish word representation of the number on the other side. Start with the first 25 numbers. Ask the child to learn all the numbers on the flash cards. Quiz the child once she has spent some time going through the cards. Have her connect the numbers to counting by asking her to count 25 objects in the room.
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