My Dear Friends, Fellow Linguists, and Citizens of the World:
Summer is a great time to get out of the routine — to refresh and reenergize the mind, body, and spirit. That said, parents frequently ask me what they can do at home to supplement their child’s language study, particularly during the summer months and if they don’t speak the language themselves.
Before getting started, it is important to recognize that reaching a level of true proficiency in a language takes time. As a result, I strongly urge you to make sure that any enrichment activities you do at home are more fun than not: language-learning is a joyous process, and motivated, excited kids will accomplish more than you ever thought possible when they want to do something.
Second, in lieu of babbling on for ninety-seven more paragraphs, I am going to give you a roadmap to my website, so that you can find and explore exactly what you are looking for. If you need an actual roadmap/ travel guide and are planning to visit a Spanish-speaking country, check out THIS PAGE (my latest project, still in its infancy!).
Part 1: Resources
Not sure what your child learned this year in Spanish class? Check out the following links! Each page has resources by grade level of songs/ projects your child has worked on in Spanish class, as well as Quarter Summaries of the year.
- PK Spanish (PK3 & PK4) + PK Quarter Summaries
- K Spanish (Kindergarten) + K Quarter Summaries
- 1 Spanish (First Grade) + 1 Quarter Summaries
- 2 Spanish (Second Grade) + 2 Quarter Summaries
- 3 Spanish (Third Grade) + 3 Quarter Summaries
- 4 Spanish (Fourth Grade) + 4 Quarter Summaries
Part 2: Language
Input is absolutely CRUCIAL here! If you don’t hear any Spanish, it is very unlikely that you will learn how to speak it. This input can come in countless forms. You can do the same activity every day (e.g., wake up and listen to ONE song in Spanish before breakfast); or keep it fresh, mix it up, and do something different every day. Either way, build the language into your daily routine, so that something feels “off” when you don’t do it. This input can be:
- listening to songs, either playing in the background on your device while you do another task, or actively listening for words you know;
- watching cartoons/movies or TV shows in your target language (Spanish voiceover with English subtitles);
- working on an app, the Spanish Wordle, or a Guess the Language game for a few minutes every day;
- playing a scavenger hunt out in public, noticing bilingual signs and Spanish translations when you go shopping;
- traveling to the library to check out the world language section (go to the kid’s one! the adult one is full of grammar books! boring!! LOL);
- traveling virtually —
- traveling in real life, either to a Spanish-speaking country or to a restaurant or city with a lot of Spanish speakers.
Part 3: Culture
A friend once taught me that you don’t just learn to speak a language, you also have to learn to speak the culture. Bilingual speakers (and hyperpolyglots, of course) do not merely code-switch; they also culture-switch when bopping between languages. To that end, students can expand their perspective taking in countless ways, including but not limited to the following:
- All students can try new foods, either by making homemade recipes or visiting ethnic restaurants;
- Older students can also have fun with —
- Other- subscriptions to consider: Universal Yums! & Baketivitiy & Little Passports
Wow! There are so many pieces that go into learning another language and culture! If you are looking more for themed activities, feel free to check out the Spanish Summer Packet from last year, LINK HERE.
And if your family would rather focus on, well, Family!, know that as in past years, all activities above are 100% optional. Have a wonderful summer, and I can’t wait to see you in the fall!
-Your Resident Linguist ❤