How to Teach your Child Spanish if You Don’t Speak It

Utilizing Spanish apps, enrolling your child in a Spanish program, and being consistent are some good ways to teach your child Spanish.
As more and more people are coming to understand the benefits for their child to learn another language, they want their child to learn Spanish. The only problem is, how?

“It’s hard enough getting my child to do what I tell them in English, how in the world do I teach my child Spanish when I don’t even speak it?”

 

This conversation could easily be overheard between two mothers meeting up at the park for a playdate for their kids, or a father voicing his frustration to his friend over a steaming cup of coffee. As more and more people are coming to understand the benefits for their child to learn another language, they want their child to learn Spanish. The only problem is, how? 

 

With a little ingenuity, commitment, and a whole lot of good resources – that’s how! Here are some suggestions and steps you can follow to help your child learn Spanish even if you don’t speak it:

 

             1. Utilize Language Learning Apps and Websites

You have an entire world of amazing language learning resources at your fingertips! People have designed amazing apps and websites with child safe and appropriate material that make learning so fun that your children will be begging to play. Who knows? If you want to learn Spanish too, you might find yourself playing along with them. Check out his article for suggestions of the Best Apps to Help Your Child Learn Spanish.

            2. Spanish Media

Interactive online games will help your child become familiar with vocabulary words, but watching Spanish media like YouTube channels and cartoons will submerge them in the fluidity of language in such a way. On apps they will learn that “rojo” means “red,” but on a YouTube video skit about colors, they will hear complete sentences in context such as, “ella pone el libro rojo en la silla” (she puts the red book on the chair). Since they did not grow up with Spanish in the household like how native language learn, expose them to as much Spanish media as possible.  

 

           3. Enroll in Language Classes

Websites, apps, and media are great, but they are limited and you need the human touch to understand, see, and communicate with your child in a way that digital learning can’t accomplish. Look for a language school in your community. Cultural Bytes offers online classes and in person camps where native speakers speak only Spanish to your child and show them care, encouragement, and attention to answer questions and help them learn Spanish on a deeper level. 

          4. Plan Cultural Activities

Celebrating Spanish holidays, visiting Latino cultural sites and museums, cooking Spanish foods together, and learning about the traditions of Spanish-speaking countries are fun ways for your family to bond while learning Spanish language. Here at Cultural Bytes, our catch phrase is, “Learn the language. Learn the culture” and we believe the two are inseparable.

 

          5. Label Household Items

Label common household items with their Spanish names so when your child moves about the house, they will associate Spanish words with real objects. For example, label the bed, “cama” and the table, “mesa.” 

 

         6. Learn the Basics of Spanish

Due to constraints of time, energy, and other reasons, we understand that you might not be able to commit to learning Spanish fluently for yourself. However, learning the basics of the most used nouns, verbs, and phrases will set the example for your child that language learning is important and encourage them to make the language part of their daily life. Learning to say “¿Cómo estuvo su día?” (How was your day?) or “¿hiciste tu tarea?” (Did you do your homework?) or “Te quiero muchísimo” (I love you very much) are little phrases that make a big difference in your child’s language learning journey. 

       7. Be Consistent

Whatever techniques and resources you find that end up working well for your child, make sure to set aside time every day for them to practice their Spanish and you will see results over time. 

 

It is an honorable endeavor for your child to learn Spanish and you can achieve this even if you don’t speak the language yourself. Just remember that learning a language is a process that takes a long time and lots of effort. Be patient in the discouragement and take time to acknowledge and celebrate the victories. 

 

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