Dear Parents, Caregivers, grandparents, and others,
Please go to audio page to download the audio version. That way you and the children will not only be able to hear the correct pronunciation, but also to stop and go back or ahead to the parts that you want to hear again.
This page is for you. We want our children to have the best education possible so that they may live rewarding, successful and fulfilling lives. Let's give our children an early start in learning a foreign language. The benefits will last throughout their lives.
The ability to speak another language opens the door to another world, provides direct contact with millions of people, gives better opportunities for employment and increases mental capacity.
Here you will find ideas for using ¡HOLA! Let's Learn Spanish, ways to encourage your child, and links to great articles on learning languages.
click here for the social benefits of being bilingual for your child.
Go to game Juego page to download free game to use after completing the book; download 1. the board game and 2. questions for parents and kids. Questions are on page 1 and answers are on page 2 of the download.
click here for a fascinating article on learning languages, courtesy of Ute Limacher, Expat Since Birth
If you wondering how to go through the book, I suggest that you first download the audio. Go to the audio page, and click to download. That way you will be able to follow along with the book, start, stop and repeat as long as you need. Unless you are a native speaker, it’s a good idea for you and the children to hear the native speaker’s pronunciation of the Spanish used in the book. On that page, you will also find the numbers that correspond to the parts of the book on the MP3, so that you can move directly to the chapter that you want to hear.
You may want to do the introduction first, and make sure that the children know the words on the list on page 3 before you continue. In the book, once a word has been introduced in Spanish, it is not explained again.
These are very common words and you probably know some of them. Some words are so easy to learn; others take more time. Everyone has their own trick. I like to close the book and see if I can remember all the words. Some words that are harder may take more time. You can use these around the house. Have a contest to see who can use the most polite words, señor, gracias, por favor. For the numbers, hold up a number of objects, like apples, and ask the children to tell you in Spanish.
Pronunciation: watch that Spanish R! If the "r" is in the middle of a word, like caramba,, the tongue hits the top of the mouth lightly, like when you're saying the "dd" in Daddy. For a double "rr" as in Qué horror, the tongue vibrates as your breath pushes it out, as if you were imitating an alarm clock. My favorite trick to get into this position in your mouth is to say: D dum, d dum, d dum, d Drrrr um! This is the sound that you want when the R is at the beginning of a word, as in Roberto, and in other places.
REPETITION You may think that repetition, repeating the same idea or fact once or several times is boring or tedious, but in language learning, it is de rigueur!
Do you have a baby in the house, or if you have children, do you remember how they started speaking? My granddaughter is 18 months old, and she does a lot of babbling. We can’t understand most of it. It sounds like she’s asking a questions, because her voice goes up at the end, but we don’t know what she’s saying. Maybe she does!
She knows the words,” hi”, “baba”, meaning “bottle”, “Dada” and “birdie”, because there is a bird feeder right outside the kitchen. She doesn’t quite have the pronunciation, but she’ll get it right in time.
In other subjects like science or math, you have time to think before you apply some information that you have studied. With language, you must speak at the rate that you think. That means that the language should be set inside your brain so that you can retrieve it automatically, almost without thinking. Of course, when we are learning a language (and I’m learning Japanese), that’s not the case!
In ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, the activities are designed to encourage repetition. That’s the thinking behind the activity “Expresión Diaria Daily Expression”, where kids try to use the same expression in appropriate situations as many times as they can in one day.
Try saying “¡Qué mono! (m) or ¡Qué mona!(f)” (How cute/ pretty!) as many times as you can in one day. That expression will be yours!
The skit, p.18, ¿Dónde está Panchito? (Where is Panchito?)
This is a fun way to get kids talking. I still remember some of the lines that I memorized for camp plays. I also remember skits that my friends and I did in our unfinished basement, inviting the neighborhood kids over, and charging admission. Did you do skits?
This skit contains many verbs that kids act out, which helps them to learn the words, with lots of action, so I hope that you will encourage and help the children to perform it.
A stage management question: how to make Panchito disappear? I’ve been wondering about that. If you look at those lines, Panchito says his last salto (I jump) as the same time as el pájaro (the bird) passes by saying the line pío,pío (chirp chip). So, Panchito could jump, crouch down, and exit the stage as the bird is passing by.
Use pictures to get the children talking about the story. Since Panchito jumps from place to place, you can point to a picture and ask: ¿Dónde está Panchito? (Where is Panchito?)
So, if you look at the picture on Page 4 and ask ¿Dónde está Panchito?, the answer is: (Panchito está) en un campo on a field or en un campo de frijoles. (Panchito is in a bean field.) If you look at page 11 and ask the same question, the answer could be:
(Panchito está) en la fiesta. The answer could also be: (Panchito está) en casa de Magdalena. (Panchito is at Magdalena’s house.)
Try pointing to a few pictures and ask: ¿Cómo está Panchito? (How is Panchito?) Look at page 8 and ask that. The answer is ¡(Panchito está) mal!