Are you trying to get your child started in Spanish? Can’t find the right materials? As a leading educator I can tell you that storytelling is a fantastic strategy to advance quickly in Spanish. Why? Because in the process of learning to do lively readings or act out stories you are intensifying the development of oral and literacy skills. Combining language skills makes a huge difference—and boy, is it fun!
However, not all story-based materials are created equal. I have designed this collection of classic stories specifically for parents and children learning Spanish together. I understand that your needs are quite different than those of teachers or Spanish speakers (although the books will be very useful for them too), and I invite you to try my approach FREE with this version of The Red Hen for the iPad.
So after downloading, what should you focus on?
- Personal interaction. Children learn languages best through personal interaction. This is why it is important that you, the parent, join in the adventure. [Note: older children and adults can use the stories independently, but I still recommend to have a learning buddy]
- Animate your story reading/telling sessions. Make pretend voices, act out some parts, wear wigs… make the sessions as animated and lively as possible!
- Use your Spanish! Make the point of using the Spanish that sticks with you (more each time) in your daily conversations with your child. Also, do NOT worry about speaking with perfect grammar and pronunciation. Actual usage is more important at this point.
For even greater results with your Spanish ‘lessons’:
- Play the story frequently. This is both to train your ear to the flow of real Spanish in action and also to imprint large volumes of Spanish grammar, intonation, cultural flair, etc., in your brain (a lot of this process will take place unconsciously!)
- Set personal learning goals. For example, "This week we will learn at least five new expressions." Challenge yourself as you become more strategic in your learning. It’s a good idea to keep a language-learning journal and look back at all the progress that you have made—don’t forget to pat yourself on the back!
Key Features of Ana Lomba’s Classic Bilingual Stories:
- Voice-over by native actresses for captivating effect and to help you model animated speech.
- Easy toggle functionality between Spanish and English so you can quickly check the meaning if you get lost—you could also alternate reading in the two languages if you so please.
- "Pause" button so you can stop and replay shorter chunks of the text.
- Divided into scenes so that you can concentrate on one section at a time and for easier reenactment.
- Vibrant comic style illustrations, providing strong non-verbal cues to reinforce comprehension and make the experience very enjoyable.
- Tons of everyday language and dialogue at a kid’s level for easy transfer to daily parent-child interaction.
About Ana Lomba:
- Parents’ Choice Award Winner and innovator with eight books and CDs published with McGraw-Hill.
- Owner of Ana Lomba Early Languages LLC (www.analomba.com), a company offering language learning resources, consulting, training, and curriculum licensing for language schools.
- Twenty-year career as a language educator, having taught parent-tot, preschool, elementary, middle school, and university Spanish courses (including five years at Princeton University).
- A grad from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (B.A.), Binghamton University (M.A.), and Princeton University (M.A). Currently at NYU (Advanced Certificate).
- Leadership in prestigious national and regional language organizations including at ACTFL, FLENJ, and NNELL.
- Advocacy in Washington D.C. for world language education in elementary schools.