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I am trying to teach a preschooler more Spanish. Help!

Posted by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:22 PM
  • 7 Replies
My 3yo doesn't like Little Pim. He enjoyed one Plaza Sesamo but we really don't know what is being said because there's too much room for interpretation. I don't speak much Spanish so it has to be in video/dvd form. What have you had the best luck with? I don't have unlimited internet so I have to buy it. One of the few drawbacks of country living!! lol. Thanks!
by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:22 PM
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cokicola
by New Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:52 PM
1 mom liked this

I found 'El Perro y El Gato' on Youtube and my kids took a liking to it.  They'll say a word in Spanish and then say it in English.  

I speak Spanish but my little ones don't.  I have been able to teach them the alphabet, numbers 1-10, some colors and shapes in Spanish using Youtube videos (through Plex on my Roku). 

Hope this helps! :) 

mommy4lyf
by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 3:21 PM
Can't help you sorry.
JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

The best dvd program for preschoolers, IMO, is a BBC production called "Muzzy."  It's expensive, but worth it.  There are two levels. 

However, if you really want your child to speak Spanish you need to have them interact with a native speaker as often as possible.  Also, you should never use programs that mix English and Spanish when you are teaching younger children.  They have the capability to pick up the language in a way that older children and adults cannot. You will have better results if they actually are trained to think in the language rather than translating in their mind.  Use of English will potentially compromise that goal.  

We are fortunate to have a Spanish school in the next town over, and my children take classes there several times a week from native speakers.  That obviously won't work for you. Limited internet is a problem, but, frankly,  the best thing that we have done is to advertise at the local college for native speakers who want to work with young children.  We tell them that they need to come and play with the child in Spanish for x number of hours (no diaper changing) at baby-sitting wages.  We encourage them to get Spanish books at the library and read to the child, play games, etc.  The only rule is that they are never allowed to speak English to the child.  Everything must be in Spanish.   This does produce incredible results.   

I started out years ago with the intention of making sure that my children were all fluent in Spanish by the time they were 18.  Neither I nor my husband speak Spanish.  Our oldest is now 20, so we were doing this  at the beginning pre-internet and before the Spanish school I mentioned started.  It was just tutors mostly.  Nevertheless, our oldest was fluent enough so that when he went to college (University of California, Merced), he tested so high that they put him into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" classes (i.e., classes for Hispanic students -- those who spoke Spanish at home).  Our second son is 14 and is taking AP Spanish (i.e., college level Spanish).  Our youngest (age 6)  looks forward each week to both his classes at the Spanish school but he especially likes "Iris Day," when Iris comes over to play with him.  He's now reading in Spanish, and he happily chatters to her in Spanish about everything.   It IS possible get children to a very high level, but it requires consistency and exposure to native speakers.  Movies, etc. will help, but they are best used as supplements. 

Best of luck to you! 

Maridel
by on Aug. 31, 2013 at 8:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I got these cool CD's from the library. They tell stories in Spanish, I think it was called Beth Manners Funtime Spanish for Kids. They learned a bit of vocabulary from that

oahoah
by Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 8:58 PM
1 mom liked this

My boys liked the Baby Einstein DVDs. Also check out stuff from your library if you are able.

TexanMomOf6
by New Member on Aug. 31, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Quoting JKronrod:

The best dvd program for preschoolers, IMO, is a BBC production called "Muzzy."  It's expensive, but worth it.  There are two levels. 

However, if you really want your child to speak Spanish you need to have them interact with a native speaker as often as possible.  Also, you should never use programs that mix English and Spanish when you are teaching younger children.  They have the capability to pick up the language in a way that older children and adults cannot. You will have better results if they actually are trained to think in the language rather than translating in their mind.  Use of English will potentially compromise that goal.  

We are fortunate to have a Spanish school in the next town over, and my children take classes there several times a week from native speakers.  That obviously won't work for you. Limited internet is a problem, but, frankly,  the best thing that we have done is to advertise at the local college for native speakers who want to work with young children.  We tell them that they need to come and play with the child in Spanish for x number of hours (no diaper changing) at baby-sitting wages.  We encourage them to get Spanish books at the library and read to the child, play games, etc.  The only rule is that they are never allowed to speak English to the child.  Everything must be in Spanish.   This does produce incredible results.   

I started out years ago with the intention of making sure that my children were all fluent in Spanish by the time they were 18.  Neither I nor my husband speak Spanish.  Our oldest is now 20, so we were doing this  at the beginning pre-internet and before the Spanish school I mentioned started.  It was just tutors mostly.  Nevertheless, our oldest was fluent enough so that when he went to college (University of California, Merced), he tested so high that they put him into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" classes (i.e., classes for Hispanic students -- those who spoke Spanish at home).  Our second son is 14 and is taking AP Spanish (i.e., college level Spanish).  Our youngest (age 6)  looks forward each week to both his classes at the Spanish school but he especially likes "Iris Day," when Iris comes over to play with him.  He's now reading in Spanish, and he happily chatters to her in Spanish about everything.   It IS possible get children to a very high level, but it requires consistency and exposure to native speakers.  Movies, etc. will help, but they are best used as supplements. 

Best of luck to you! 


Wow, I am jealous! You are a prime example of the success of the immersion technique. Thanks for the ideas! I have the first Muzzy and he liked it for a while. I figure he lost interest because I can't reinforcement it myself. LO goes to daycare and the director has mentioned wanting to have a Spanish immersion day on a weekly basis. I shall speak to her about it again. I know the public school here has English as a Second Language but does not teach "foreign language" until high school. I think that's too late. Now if I could figure out why my posts won't properly divide into paragraphs when I push return and insert 2 spaces at the beginning of each paragraph it would be even better!! Thank you so much for sharing your successful techniques.
JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2013 at 1:03 AM

 

 

Quoting TexanMomOf6:


Quoting JKronrod:

The best dvd program for preschoolers, IMO, is a BBC production called "Muzzy."  It's expensive, but worth it.  There are two levels. 

However, if you really want your child to speak Spanish you need to have them interact with a native speaker as often as possible.  Also, you should never use programs that mix English and Spanish when you are teaching younger children.  They have the capability to pick up the language in a way that older children and adults cannot. You will have better results if they actually are trained to think in the language rather than translating in their mind.  Use of English will potentially compromise that goal.  

We are fortunate to have a Spanish school in the next town over, and my children take classes there several times a week from native speakers.  That obviously won't work for you. Limited internet is a problem, but, frankly,  the best thing that we have done is to advertise at the local college for native speakers who want to work with young children.  We tell them that they need to come and play with the child in Spanish for x number of hours (no diaper changing) at baby-sitting wages.  We encourage them to get Spanish books at the library and read to the child, play games, etc.  The only rule is that they are never allowed to speak English to the child.  Everything must be in Spanish.   This does produce incredible results.   

I started out years ago with the intention of making sure that my children were all fluent in Spanish by the time they were 18.  Neither I nor my husband speak Spanish.  Our oldest is now 20, so we were doing this  at the beginning pre-internet and before the Spanish school I mentioned started.  It was just tutors mostly.  Nevertheless, our oldest was fluent enough so that when he went to college (University of California, Merced), he tested so high that they put him into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" classes (i.e., classes for Hispanic students -- those who spoke Spanish at home).  Our second son is 14 and is taking AP Spanish (i.e., college level Spanish).  Our youngest (age 6)  looks forward each week to both his classes at the Spanish school but he especially likes "Iris Day," when Iris comes over to play with him.  He's now reading in Spanish, and he happily chatters to her in Spanish about everything.   It IS possible get children to a very high level, but it requires consistency and exposure to native speakers.  Movies, etc. will help, but they are best used as supplements. 

Best of luck to you! 


Wow, I am jealous! You are a prime example of the success of the immersion technique. Thanks for the ideas! I have the first Muzzy and he liked it for a while. I figure he lost interest because I can't reinforcement it myself. LO goes to daycare and the director has mentioned wanting to have a Spanish immersion day on a weekly basis. I shall speak to her about it again. I know the public school here has English as a Second Language but does not teach "foreign language" until high school. I think that's too late. Now if I could figure out why my posts won't properly divide into paragraphs when I push return and insert 2 spaces at the beginning of each paragraph it would be even better!! Thank you so much for sharing your successful techniques.

I know.  It drives me crazy that schools won't teach foreign language until junior high or later, especially when so many studies suggest that the brain actually loses its ability to readily absorb language after age 13 or so.  It's part of the reason why we decided to home school.  And especially since we're in California where so many people speak Spanish as a first language it seems insane not to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the language "naturally" (same thing where you are -- I'm assuming from your screen name you're in Texas).  The woman who started the Spanish school here had the same frustration -- Anglo, but spent much of her childhood in Mexico.  She was a very successful marketing executive, but after not being able to find language classes in the schools here, she started her school with the idea of trying to get the public schools to use her program at the elementary level.  She's met with mixed results on that front, but the school itself, which offers after school and pre-K classes, has done reasonably well.  Again, good luck.  Maybe enough of us make enough noise we'll eventually be able to get the language classes into the lower grades where they belong!     

 

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