Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spanish for Kids

As I explained in my post about "Being white in a brown body in a white world," I would love to know how to speak Spanish fluently.  I took four years of Spanish in high school and learned some vocab. and conjugations, but when it comes to speaking with a native speaker I get tongue-tied or lost in translation.

I want something different for my kids.  I want them to be comfortable speaking another language.  I want them to be bold when trying out new words and phrases.  I've been teaching them some vocabulary words for body parts, food, and other common items and phrases.  But the progress is excruciatingly slow, because their teacher (me) is limited in conversational Spanish.

Most of the methods I've seen are slow and tedious (kind of like the courses I took in high school.)  I'm not concerned about their ability to write out conjugations or order beer from a restaurant.  The fact is that most Spanish courses are for older students or adults.  I just want my kids to learn to speak, in much the same way they learned to speak English, simply by listening and picking it up naturally over time.  I think I've found a program that can help accomplish this.  It is called "Little Pim."

If you're familiar with language training then you may have heard of the Pimsleur approach.  This process was developed by Paul Pimsleur.  It uses a series of audio CDs that have been "scientifically sequenced to lock language material into your brain after just one listen." (http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/index-1b/)  It is the process that the FBI uses to learn a foreign language in less than two weeks.  Little Pim was developed by Pimsleur's daughter who adapted her father's methods into a video format to teach her own kids.

I don't like buying anything online if I'm not sure I'll like it, so I searched for Little Pim on Netflix and rented it.  Today I watched it with my kids for the first time.  Wow!  I think it's definitely going to work for us and I will be ordering all of the DVDs.  I might even be persuaded to the buy the cute little stuffed panda and plastic back pack that goes with it.  I'm hoping that by the end of the year my boys and I will be chatting away in Spanish with ease.  And hopefully as we're out shopping or running errands we'll be able to say, "Si, hablo Espanol!" to the person who assumes we're native speakers.  The picture below will take you to the Little Pim website if you're interested in learning more about it.


If anyone is teaching their little ones Spanish, maybe we could have some Facetime or Skype Spanish practice sessions.  Let me know if you're interested!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know the program but the little I saw on the site seems interesting. In any case, the fact that you are starting this with your kids young enough is going to make a huge difference. I am still amazed that there are so few immersion schools in this country, even here in South Florida. It would be such a gain for everyone! But anyway, in the meantime, buena suerte con tus niños.


You're next...