My son is now 21 months and his second birthday is sneaking up on me fast! Back in April I made the decision to teach my son Spanish, even though I did not speak it myself.
Here is a quick flashback on how I had planned on teaching him:
- Songs: We will be listening to Spanish music that we have gotten from the library or YouTube to help us learn the language. Music and rhymes can be a wonderful tool for learning any language.
- Video: We will be watching short language learning videos that are aimed at young children. A maximum of 30 minutes a day will be allowed for this method.
- Books: Books will allow us to learn vocabulary as we have found some dual language books at our library.
Now for the verdict, here is how each method worked out for us:
- Songs: We listened to Spanish songs in the car and at home. We would dance to them and I would try to sing along. After about three weeks of this…my son imitated 0 Spanish words from the songs.
- Video: For three weeks I would turn on the 30 minute Spanish educational program for my son to watch. He was definitely entertained by it, but he did not try to imitate ANY of the words from it. He would watch it for about 15 minutes before he had enough each time. We watched the same episode multiple times in hopes of picking up the words from the repeated practice. I will admit I picked up a few words…but my son did not. ( I spent money on this and thought it would work for sure!)
- Books: I struggled with the books as I do not speak Spanish. I would try to sound out the words correctly but was unsure each time. It is really hard to teach a language that you don’t know from looking at a book and guessing at the pronunciation. 0 Spanish words were spoken by my son from this method.
After a couple of weeks I was beyond frustrated. I had spent money on items to help me teach my son Spanish and he was not learning Spanish (I am a pretty frugal person so I was really disappointed when none of this worked and I had thrown money away). He was imitating English words like crazy so why wouldn’t he imitate Spanish ones?
This was something I had wanted for my son so badly as I know learning a second language at this age has so many benefits (read more about these here). Another driving force for me was being stuck writing a post called “How I Failed at Teaching My Son Spanish” instead of the exciting update I had wanted to write.
So I kept trying and started to teach myself Spanish in order to teach him. The amazing thing was that almost INSTANTLY my son started imitating the words when he would hear me say them!
LIGHT BULB MOMENT: Why was I trying to teach my son Spanish in a way that was COMPLETELY different from how he learned English?
I am NOT claiming to be a Spanish teacher by any means. However, I do consider myself a language teacher. After 6 years of working in Early Intervention I guided many parents in ways to encourage their little one’s first words. Most of these children had language delays so they needed extra help.
When my son was born I used all of these strategies to help him talk and guess what I learned…these are GREAT strategies for ALL kids and even more surprising they work well to teach a second language as well.
So I took these strategies and applied them to teaching my son Spanish. Guess what…It worked!
Here is the part that makes me so excited because there was a time I thought about giving up. I have heard my 21 month old son say over 20 Spanish words. 20! The best part is he is now picking up new Spanish words everyday!
So if your reading this and you are saying, “Wow! That is great for you…but who has the time to do that?” My response would be YOU DO!
The last couple of months I have been working really hard to take the system I have had success with and turn it into something that EVERY parent can use that wants this for their child as much as I do. The best part is that I have done the research and the work for you so you will be able to hit the ground running with this almost instantly.
Here is what I have put together for you:
- 0-100 A Spanish Language Learning Strategy for Babies and Toddlers E-Book
- 10 Week Program
- Weekly Guided Target Vocabulary Worksheets
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this program recommend this program for?
Babies and toddlers under the age of 3.
Why did I choose this age range?
The strategies used within the program work best for this age range. Would this work for older children? Probably (I don’t see why not)…these are just my recommendations as someone with a lot of experience with babies and toddlers!
How much time do you need to dedicate to this a day?
Less than 10 minutes after you have read the e-book (which is 20 pages) implementing the strategies should take LESS than 10 minutes a day.
Do you have to learn Spanish too?
Yes! Trust me though…the way it is laid out for you it will be EASY for you to pick up while you are teaching your baby or toddler. I have you covered with a simple trick that will help you learn how to say everything quickly…and even more importantly REMEMBER it! This was a game changer for me!
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