After 28 years as a language instructor I can tell how people learn best. While it’s true we all learn a bit differently, when it comes to acquiring information and retaining it we are all pretty much the same. We remember with visual aids and participation. Adults are no different when it comes to learning languages, or anything else for that matter. We remember that which is fun, engaging and spikes an interest.
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I believe the best way to get parents to start speaking Spanish is to take advantage of what their child learns at school. With the new technologies used in schools and the visual aids teachers use, learning with your child and doing homework with him will help you as a parent, not just to learn Spanish but to bond with your child in a new adventure and a new way to communicate with each other.
How to learn Spanish with your child:
Allow him to do his homework and then go over it with him. I always encourage my students to read aloud whatever they have for homework, be it phrases, texts, or essays. This helps them practice pronunciation and get more comfortable speaking the language. You use muscles differently when you speak another language, so this practice is essential. Exercise those vocal cords with your child!
Spanish music videos with lyrics. If you find a song on YouTube with lyrics: sing along. It’s fun and you get to practice. Choose simple songs or ask your child’s teacher to suggest some that are at your his level.
Role play. Most of the work a child will do in class is role play. Ask him what it is he is working on and practice the role play with them.
Get involved. Every school should have a syllabus posted on its website. Check and see where your child is at and seek out books in the library according to his level and grammar stage. Read with your child and make it a game. Look up words together.
Ask your child to explain what he did that day in class. Your child will learn and remember by teaching you.
Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions for the best language practice apps, such as Quizlet. Get them for yourself, too!
Make it a team effort and you will both enjoy learning!