There is no substitute for learning Spanish with a trained teacher on-to-one or in a small class but it isn’t always possible to fit this kind of learning with your lifestyle or budget. Thanks to video conferencing technologies it’s possible to join a class wherever you are on the planet. [Read more…] about Join live interactive online spanish classes
It is one of those questions that really doesn’t have a black or white answer. Unfortunately for those who like things in neat numbered boxes, language and language learning is not an exact science, and it doesn’t matter how many psychologists run tests and/or questionnaires on people and their experiences, it will never be.
So, how do we answer this question? Let’s use what we know, which is ourselves and our experience as people. [Read more…] about What don't we learn languages like little children do?
For a while I have been teaching adults in the Bristol area and although I have always advertised as a Spanish/French conversation, GCSE, A levels teacher, very often I get enquiries from parent eager to get their little ones started early in the language learning world.
Why? One would ask? Well, it’s much easier to learn when one is young. That much is true, at least, the little ones are open and receptive and will be having fun. However, when I had my own little ones, I did my own research of language services available for these ages. Besides, playgroups for totally bilingual families, I couldn’t find anything that qualified as a “class”. I wanted my little ones to not just learn a few songs and words that they would conveniently forget once their heads got into something else, like cartoons or school. I wanted something more lasting… so in the end I decided to teach them Spanish (my native language) and French (which I speak fluently) myself using the total immersion system, basically speaking to them in all types of situations using solely those languages. Not at the same time, of course, we take turns, some days we do French, some days Spanish. My eldest, only 2 years and a half at the moment understands the three and is starting to speak using the three.
This got me thinking and bring back to the surface one of my projects, teaching toddlers languages. The best thing is bringing in the language to all the departments of life, so the idea of my parent and pre-schooler sessions was born. A lesson where children get totally exposed to the language, whilst having fun, and parents can also learn and take something with them to be able to use it at home with their little ones.
The idea is not just getting the parents to do homework at home, of course not. The main idea is developing a relationship between parents, children and the language, so everybody in the family can enjoy it and it becomes that fun activity we do together all the time, rather than… the Spanish homework.
So, go for breakfast with your in-laws and show-off exchanging Spanish words with your kid: “Peter, pásame el azúcar” (pass the sugar) or “Mum, I want the leche” (milk). Don’t know all the words? Never mind, mix them, at the end of the day that’s what bilingual toddlers do!
For more information go to courses in Bristol or contact me directly.