Every four years an excellent opportunity arises to expose your children to the various cultures of the world when 32 nations unite in one country to vie for the FIFA World Cup.
Starting next week on June 11th, seven Spanish-speaking countries will be amongst the 32 qualifying teams competing in South Africa during el Mundial: Honduras, México, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Spain. In my house we are rooting for both México and the U.S.A. We are counting the days in my house for the inaugural game of South Africa vs México to kick off the biggest event on earth and to mark the first of many World Cups we´ll get to enjoy with my daughter. It is sure to be one of the family traditions she will endure for many years. It is also one more chance to for us to tell her more about her papá´s country of origin, México, and the rich soccer tradition it flaunts.
There are many ways to make this global event part of your family traditions and incorporate the month-long World Cup fever into your bilingual and bicultural learning activities.
- Sit with your child and explain to him/her the sport of fútbol and how it serves to bring together billions of people from around the world regardless of their language, culture or race.
- Show him on the map where these Spanish-speaking countries are and who the players with a “hero” status are: Rafa Marquez, Kaká, Messi, amongst others.
- Watch the matches live in Spanish on Univisión and get him to shout out loud the famous “GOOOOOLLLL” every time one is scored.
- Take him to a local fútbol game where the players are Spanish speakers and he gets to practice and play.
- Make him familiar with the players on the Men´s US Soccer team which will be representing this country in South Africa. The pool of players is very diverse with many of them from Hispanic descent. They can be your child´s hero this summer.
- Find a FIFA World Cup Panini collectible sticker album or play it´s online version together as a family. I remember collecting these as a child and it was a sport in itself!
- Watch the videos and sing along to the most popular World Cup anthems in Spanish. Here we have the Coca-Cola Official World Cup bilingual theme in Spanish and English, where famous pop singer from Spain, David Bisbal, joins Somalian rapper K´Naan in this uplifting song: Wavin’ Flag.
Can you tell just how excited I am about the Mundial!
Do you make it a tradition to watch the World Cup? How will you watch it with your kids? Who are you rooting for?