The key to becoming really proficient in Spanish is practice, practice, practice…but how is a homeschool family to accomplish this goal most advantageously?
Obviously, choosing an effective curriculum is important. Make sure that your program’s approach is based on sound principles. Many common practices are not best practices, and they will waste your valuable time and/or money in the long run!
Excelerate SPANISH incorporates best practices such as Total Physical Response plus powerful storytelling and dramatization techniques to help your students’ brains to assimilate– and hold onto– tons of relevant content.
You’ll also love the benefits of additional “comprehensible input” to further familiarize your students with the patterns and flow of the Spanish language. Here are some guidelines to help you select the most practical resources:
- Pick those options that are interesting, appealing, and enjoyable for your students. There’s just no need to settle for tedious or dry material. Speaking another language is fun, and our activities should be, too.
- Use audio, reading, and visual materials that are at an appropriate level. The bulk of the language should be comprehensible to your students, with just enough element of challenge to keep them progressing.
- Speakers (live or recorded) who are willing to enunciate, speak slowly, repeat, etc. are ideal! Of course, there are also benefits to hearing Spanish spoken at a natural (fast!) pace as prep for real-life interactions.
- Remember that when we learned our first language, fluency came first, then grammar study— not the other way around.
- Sometimes, the best things in life really are free. That’s also true when it comes to “comprehensible input.”
For conversation practice with native speakers and/or other students of Spanish:
- English-Spanish Chat (Parents will want to monitor use by their children).
- The Mixxer allows for language learners to find a conversation partner to talk to via Skype.
For authentic Comprehensible Input:
- Notes in Spanish offers free podcasts at various levels. If you like, there are also worksheets you can download and use.
- Here is a Children’s Digital Library you can access for free!
- These sites offer videos and/or TV shows in Spanish: Argentina’s Public TV, TV al Vivo, TVN, Nicaragua’s Canal 15, Spain’s Tele Madrid, ANTV, and Univision.
- To listen to music in Spanish, visit this site featuring over 600 stations! I also liked the music videos here.
- For news, see Telemundo‘s site or Madrid’s ABC (or google, of course).
- BBC Languages is no longer updating their site, but it is still functional and well worth exploring!
- Check out this awesome compilation of links!
If you find other sites that you’d like to recommend to homeschool families, please tell us! Also, feel free to let us know which resources were most beneficial to you.
Still need a curriculum to serve as the core for your studies? Your students will love learning Spanish via gestures, action sequences, skits, and stories!
Gracias, y buena suerte con su práctica. 🙂
Su segura servidora,