“Hola. My husband and I are both first generation US-born Cuban-Americans. We moved away from all of our spanish speaking family but would like to raise a bilingual child. I’ve been researching how to accomplish this and I’m extremely overwhelmed with the amount of information I’m finding and have no idea where to start. There are so many products out there that claim to help teach a child English and Spanish that I don’t know which one to go with (or what combination to use). Any tips? Any starter kits that I should look in to? LOL!
I agree. There are so many resources available – and also many products that make exaggerated claims about how much language a child will learn while using a certain product, method or website. When I am looking for materials for our students, or great links to recommend to other teachers, I tend to consult people I trust – experts in the field, professional journals, master teachers and the like. The best way to access this information is through professional organizations: ACTFL – the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and NNELL – the National Network for Early Language Learning, and ListServs: FLTeach and Ñandutí. I am also always on the lookout for great resources and I post a new link (almost) every day on my Facebook page and in my Delicious bookmarks.
Some good online (and free!) resources for Spanish include:
There are also many commercial programs available – some are better than others. Of interest are:
Bottom line – you and your husband are really the best resources for your children. If you can commit to speaking Spanish with them, they will learn the language. Play word games with your children in Spanish, teach them vocabulary and read stories to them. You can supplement your input with some fun websites that your children will enjoy, along with picturebooks, videos, games and other materials in Spanish. Good luck!