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How do you teach a 2yo a second language?

i want my to teach my 2yo to speak Spanish. i feel it would be very helpful for her to know later in life because we live in an area with a lot of Spanish speakers. but i know very little Spanish. And don't have anyone close to me that does to teach either of us. she watches handy Manny but has yet to pick anything up from that. is there any programs out there for teaching toddlers Spanish? any other ideas?

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Asked by evythecute at 3:01 PM on Oct. 18, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • Sesame street in spanish (PLAZA SESAME), There are also spanish versions of several of their fav. shows like Dora, Blue's Clues, etc. (just like the english ones except reversed).
    Make friends with those that speak spanish, play dates where only spanish is spoken, find a babysitter that is spanish.

    I thought of the shows b/c I swear its how my son learned english cause I really tried to only speak spn. to him and I knew that my aunts that took care of him and my great-aunt we lived with spoke no english but he did

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 4:12 PM on Oct. 18, 2008

  • I think the statistic is that children need at least 30% exposure to a second language to learn it. The PP has some good ideas. Also, I've seen advertisements for a language series specifically geared to young children. I think the character's name is "Muzzy" and it's put out by the BBC. You could probably Google it.

    Answer by Nerdy_Mom at 7:25 PM on Oct. 18, 2008

  • the same way you did with the first one, but honestly, is really important for your TWO YEAR OLD to be bilingual? If it is, then do exactly what you did the first time, and make it fun.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:26 PM on Oct. 18, 2008

  • The best way for anyone, toddlers included is immersion. Speak whatever Spanish you can to her. Teach her things in both languages. Example: point to a door and say both "door" and "puerta" that way she relates each word to the same object.

    And no it may not be important that a 2 year old speaks Spanish, but multiple studies have shown that the younger a child is when they begin to learn a new language the easier it is for them to grasp. At that age her brain synapses are still forming, they stop forming at age 5. So her language synapses will connect both English and Spanish in the same place so that speaking both languages is natural to her. If you wait then she has to learn one language and store the other one some other place meaning it takes slightly longer for her to process the information as she learns it.

    Answer by alyniki at 12:08 AM on Oct. 19, 2008

  • thanks Mami and nerdy! i will see what time the Spanish sesame street comes on in my area. i knew that there was a Spanish sesame street but it she hardly ever watches anything but the Disney channel i had for got about that! lol.
    Anonymous i really don't understand you reply... my DD is an only child. she is the "first one".... so this would be my first time even thinking about teaching a child another language. and no is isn't THAT important my 2yo learn Spanish. like i said i just think it would be beneficial for her in the future to know it. its not urgent or anything but i would like to at least introduce her to it.

    Answer by evythecute at 12:14 AM on Oct. 19, 2008

  • oh alyniki good point! i really need to sit down and watch whatever Spanish thing i put on foe her. because i am really bad with the prepossessions. i sound so "white girl" when i try to speak Spanish lol. i don't think books would really help us because there is no way i would get the words right without hearing it first lol.

    Answer by evythecute at 12:19 AM on Oct. 19, 2008

  • I think Anonymous was referring to the same way you taught your daughter the first language.  Since you're not fluent in Spanish, that method (complete immersion) isn't really possible.  You and your daughter can have fun learning Spanish together, though.


    Answer by Nerdy_Mom at 9:05 PM on Oct. 19, 2008

  • you can also go to and they have ALOT of free lessons. that's how one of my brothers learned to play the ukulele considering no one teaches it up here.

    Answer by watersgirls at 3:16 PM on Oct. 25, 2008

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