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Adding in a foreign language?

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My son is showing a lot of interest in learning Spanish. He's been asking repeatedly since we started homeschooling. I know K12 offers a course but I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions. 

Oh he is about to turn 8 and in 2nd grade. Thank you in advance. 

by on Feb. 7, 2014 at 5:29 AM
Replies (11-17):
Radiating2
by Member on Feb. 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM
This is awesome JKronrod!!

My husband is first generation Mexican American. He speaks Spanish fluently being it was his first language. He grew up ALWAYS having to translate for his Momma. He has made a point to speak to our boys in Spanish often. Though, we also know that the best way for these munchkins to learn is w/ other children. There are a few Spanish immersion classes/programs in this area. Of course there is a long list to get in and or it's too far to drive. We use Duoligo sometimes but not enough as needed to really progress.

Thanks for the tips! Sounds like your children are doing great :) Good job Momma!

Quoting JKronrod:

Definitely start now.  This is my favorite hobby-horse. If you start young, and are consistent, your children will be fluent by 18 (which is always my goal).   


I like Muzzy (suggested by a previous poster).  RosettaStone is also good.  Both are expensive but are well done.  We have used both of these extensively.


However, it is impossible to learn a foreign language, especially in 2nd grade, only from media -- even good media.  You need to have someone working with your child -- speaking to him, reading to him, and making him speak back with corrections, just like you do for him in English.  


We've used a number of methods to accomplish this over the years.   With our oldest, it was pre-internet when we started 21 years ago.  We hired tutors to come twice a week.  Yes, it was expensive, but when he got to college he tested so high on the Spanish entrance exam they put him into "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" -- the class for native Spanish-speaking kids who hadn't  necessarily done a lot of formal grammar, learned how to write a paper or do a presentation in Spanish.  He was the only Anglo in the class. He's worked all the time he's been in college (bike mechanic) and one of his employers has specifically commented on his ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking customers.   


With our middle son we were fortunate because a Spanish enrichment school opened in the next town over.  We still used tutors, but he had the added advantage of more classes and exposure (and we had the advantage of a cheaper program).  We use online tutors found through http://www.edufire.com/ and http://www.esaudio.net/.   He's fluent at 14. He reads books in Spanish for pleasure.  He's halfway through an AP course in Spanish Language (with an "A" -- his easiest class).  He attributes his success to the tutors and classes, but also to intentionally finding Spanish language programs on line (he loves certain Spanish situation comedy shows) and watching them and DISCUSSING them with his teachers/tutors.   


Our daughter is not quite at his level, but is getting there (she actually prefers Japanese to Spanish, which may have something to do with it).  We have done the same thing in Japanese for all our kids -- with the addition of hiring a Japanese au pair, which has especially helped with the little one.


Our little one is also fluent for his age.  We use the classes and a formal tutor (and Muzzy -- no Rosetta this time for Spanish, although he does use it for Japanese) but we also advertised at the local college for a native speaker of Spanish who would like to play several hours a week with a (then) four year old.  We found a wonderful guy who took Thomas out to the park and for yogurt for four hours each week.  He read to Thomas (and ultimately had Thomas read to him), worked with him on writing. When he graduated, he introduced us to one of his friends, and she took over, and so it goes. 


So, my suggestion is that you advertise at the local college for someone who can play with your kids.  Make sure that they are native speakers with an educated accent.  Get books in Spanish from the local library so that the tutor can read to your child and teach your child to read.


See if there is a play group for Spanish or a school, but make sure that they use Spanish-only.  At this age, that's critical for learning. 


If necessary, use an on-line tutor.


Use Muzzy and/or Rosetta and/or the Spanish language tracks on movies, etc. as supplements. 


Be consistent, and it's likely that your child will be bilingual. 


 


 

DyslexiaParent
by Member on Feb. 8, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Check out Duolingo too for Spanish, French, German, Italian or Portuguese.  Duolingo is a new, online program that says it is proven to be effective, but I don’t know if it is effective for students with learning disabilities.  Given that it’s free, it’d be worth a try.

SandyKC
M.S. Instructional Design, Veteran Homeschooling Mom of "Light of My Life" Boys,
Author

Pukalani79
by Kristin on Feb. 8, 2014 at 6:23 PM

 I was thinking about this as well. My children want to learn ASL and another foreign language.  My daughter wants to learn Italian because she's being classically trained in voice and she has at least one Italian song per semester. 

Codysmom2106
by Member on Feb. 8, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Thanks for all of the suggestions ladies. I will definitely be looking into them.

TidewaterClan
by on Feb. 8, 2014 at 8:41 PM
Just to get started (and if you like free) Mango Languages offers lessons through most public libraries. Even if your local one doesn't, another library in your state probably does and you should be able to get a card. :)

http://www.mangolanguages.com
kirbymom
by Sonja on Feb. 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM
We get a dictionary in the language of choice and then we will do some online audio as well. We've done some German some Spanish some Hebrew. Even some French.
JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Feb. 9, 2014 at 1:42 AM
1 mom liked this

 Your kids are so lucky to have a parent that is fluent in a second language!  It kills me when parents don't teach their children the languages they, the parents, speak.  And I wouldn't worry too much about having other children around.  You're right that's very helpful, but it is do-able without.  Good luck!

Quoting Radiating2: This is awesome JKronrod!!

My husband is first generation Mexican American. He speaks Spanish fluently being it was his first language. He grew up ALWAYS having to translate for his Momma. He has made a point to speak to our boys in Spanish often. Though, we also know that the best way for these munchkins to learn is w/ other children. There are a few Spanish immersion classes/programs in this area. Of course there is a long list to get in and or it's too far to drive. We use Duoligo sometimes but not enough as needed to really progress.

Thanks for the tips! Sounds like your children are doing great :) Good job Momma!

Quoting JKronrod:

Definitely start now.  This is my favorite hobby-horse. If you start young, and are consistent, your children will be fluent by 18 (which is always my goal).   


I like Muzzy (suggested by a previous poster).  RosettaStone is also good.  Both are expensive but are well done.  We have used both of these extensively.


However, it is impossible to learn a foreign language, especially in 2nd grade, only from media -- even good media.  You need to have someone working with your child -- speaking to him, reading to him, and making him speak back with corrections, just like you do for him in English.  


We've used a number of methods to accomplish this over the years.   With our oldest, it was pre-internet when we started 21 years ago.  We hired tutors to come twice a week.  Yes, it was expensive, but when he got to college he tested so high on the Spanish entrance exam they put him into "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" -- the class for native Spanish-speaking kids who hadn't  necessarily done a lot of formal grammar, learned how to write a paper or do a presentation in Spanish.  He was the only Anglo in the class. He's worked all the time he's been in college (bike mechanic) and one of his employers has specifically commented on his ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking customers.   


With our middle son we were fortunate because a Spanish enrichment school opened in the next town over.  We still used tutors, but he had the added advantage of more classes and exposure (and we had the advantage of a cheaper program).  We use online tutors found through http://www.edufire.com/ and http://www.esaudio.net/.   He's fluent at 14. He reads books in Spanish for pleasure.  He's halfway through an AP course in Spanish Language (with an "A" -- his easiest class).  He attributes his success to the tutors and classes, but also to intentionally finding Spanish language programs on line (he loves certain Spanish situation comedy shows) and watching them and DISCUSSING them with his teachers/tutors.   


Our daughter is not quite at his level, but is getting there (she actually prefers Japanese to Spanish, which may have something to do with it).  We have done the same thing in Japanese for all our kids -- with the addition of hiring a Japanese au pair, which has especially helped with the little one.


Our little one is also fluent for his age.  We use the classes and a formal tutor (and Muzzy -- no Rosetta this time for Spanish, although he does use it for Japanese) but we also advertised at the local college for a native speaker of Spanish who would like to play several hours a week with a (then) four year old.  We found a wonderful guy who took Thomas out to the park and for yogurt for four hours each week.  He read to Thomas (and ultimately had Thomas read to him), worked with him on writing. When he graduated, he introduced us to one of his friends, and she took over, and so it goes. 


So, my suggestion is that you advertise at the local college for someone who can play with your kids.  Make sure that they are native speakers with an educated accent.  Get books in Spanish from the local library so that the tutor can read to your child and teach your child to read.


See if there is a play group for Spanish or a school, but make sure that they use Spanish-only.  At this age, that's critical for learning. 


If necessary, use an on-line tutor.


Use Muzzy and/or Rosetta and/or the Spanish language tracks on movies, etc. as supplements. 


Be consistent, and it's likely that your child will be bilingual. 


 


 

 

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