How to Teach Your Kids Spanish Through Books

Teaching Spanish to your child can be a fun and exciting experience. As a parent, you may feel overwhelmed with where to start, but don't worry! Storytime is an excellent way to introduce a new language to your child, and it can be easy to implement, whether you are a native Spanish speaker or not.

Here are some simple tactics to help you teach Spanish to your child through books:

  • Choose a Familiar Story

Begin with a story that you and your child already know and love. Look for bilingual books that have already been translated from English to Spanish. For example, "The Cat in the Hat" is a classic story that has been translated into Spanish and is sure to be a hit in your home too.

  • Keep a Book on High Rotation

Children love to read the same books over and over again, and this repetition is helpful for learning a new language. Repeated exposure to the same story helps children to remember information and recognize letters and words. Make reading time fun by using different voices and expressions. For example, when reading "Curious George" for the hundredth time, make it an exciting experience for your child.

  • Trace Your Fingers Along the Words

When reading, use your index finger to trace along the words. This helps your child recognize letters and words before they can speak them. The relaxed state during storytime helps facilitate learning to read in another language. Avoid drilling vocabulary into your child's brain during this time.

  • “Mum doesn’t know everything.”

It's okay not to know everything, including pronunciation. Instead, tell your child that you don't know everything, but that you can learn together. Children are forgiving and are not critiquing your pronunciation. They are just enjoying storytime with their parent.

  • You Can Ditch the "Age Appropriate" Books

If you are introducing Spanish to an older child, "age appropriate" books in the target language may not be the best fit in the beginning stages. Choose a simpler story intended for a younger audience to start with. Let your child know that choosing something simpler will help both of you because you are learning together.

  • Read Every Day

Make reading time a daily activity where you snuggle and read new words together. Create a safe, loving environment, turning the simple act of reading into time that you and your child treasure.

In conclusion, storytime is an excellent method to introduce Spanish to your child. Choose a familiar story, keep a book on high rotation, trace your fingers along the words, ditch "age appropriate" books, and read every day. Remember that learning a new language takes time and effort, but it is worth it to give your child the brightest future possible. As Dr. Seuss said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."


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Even if you're not fluent!

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