How do I teach my son spanish?

Megan - posted on 02/27/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are american and our first language is english, but we are also both fluent in spanish and want our son to learn. What is the best way to teach him so he also becomes fluent?

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Waleska - posted on 04/13/2009

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DO what I DO WITH my 2 year old, we live in Puerto Rico by the way, I speak to him in English more often than in Spanish, and believe me when I say it will amaze you when you hear them for the first time saying something in the Language you are trying to teach, I was baffled when my 2 year old toddler all of the sudden said "OH my God"! at a surprising situation. I was so proud. So speak the Spanish language fluently to your child, even if you think he/she does not understand you. ;-)

Megan - posted on 03/26/2009

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muchas gracias eh, me ayuden mucho. es que como mi primer idioma es ingles, no viene muy facil a hablar siempre el espanol. y aun que soy fluida, muchas veces no se como decir cosas. pero bueno, intentare. piensen que debo hablarle desde ahorita mientras es pequenito, o puedo esperar a hablarle puro espanol hasta que logra como uno o dos anitos??

Silvia - posted on 03/26/2009

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Quoting Megan:

How do I teach my son spanish?

My husband and I are american and our first language is english, but we are also both fluent in spanish and want our son to learn. What is the best way to teach him so he also becomes fluent?


Hola Megan,



La mejor forma es ser natural, hablale en espanol en casa, no te preocupes por el ingles que lo aprendera cuando comiense la escuela. Tambien pueden decidir quien le habla en espanol tu o tu esposo y el otro en ingles. si uno de Uds. le habla en espanol, tiene que ser puro espanol y no dejar que tu hijo te responda en ingles, tienes que pedir espanol por parte de el tambien, asi tendra el conocimiento y fluides. Buena suerte.



Silvia desde Las Bermudas

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Soccer - posted on 02/27/2013

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Only speak to your child in Spanish, he will learn English at school or with his friends. Spanish at home English with everyone else until he gets older & has Spanish down. I'm fluent in both Spanish and English & so are my kids. My first language was spanish & me and my siblings learned english at school. Now I'm in college & my best subject is english lol. I'm from California & live in Texas & everyone thinks we are from Mexico because believe or not San Antonio is not a Spanish speaking place. My kids go to the only bilingual school in our district & almost everyone in that school are from California. Anyway only Spanish, society will do the English part.

Digna - posted on 05/22/2009

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My kids have learned because my mother and aunt (their sitter) only speak to them in spanish.We listen to spanish music all the time they love to dance and sing (my son is a young Marc Anthony)LMAO..I think with all of that combined it kinda clicks..It does take awhile though be patient.My ped told me that they cant recognize two languages till three so ur baby might speak jibberish for a little..My son did...

Julissa - posted on 04/19/2009

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my husband is amrican n im boricua i talk to my son in both languages....if i say bottle then ill say the translation botella....u kno ill jus translate the word for him....

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Megan,



Bienvenido a mi mundo!  Welcome to my world.  Well except that my husband does not speak Spanish (in my dreams...sigh).  But, I work with monolingual and bilingual Spanish speaking families everyday and what I have seen that works (for truly bilingual children) is either 1) they speak the first language in school and the second language at home OR 2) children that are able to attend dual language schools from Kindergarten forward.



I speak Spanish to my children and the 5 year old is definately not bilingual but has a capacity for Spanish and enjoys it.  We sing songs, play games and read books in spanish (his Dad even gives the books a try).  I also had him with monolingual daycare providers until he was three and he has a mixed group of monolingual and bilingual friends.



Before I got pregnant with the second one we checked into a dual language school in the county I work in, which was/is awesome, and where many of the families I work with go to.  But, the stars were not aligned for that to happen...



We still sing songs and read books in Spanish and the public school has a Spanish class once a week which he enjoys.  But, my pipe dream to have bilingual children may not happen until they say "Mom, I wanna learn more Spanish!"



Jose Orzoco is our favorite Cantante...he is from California and has 2 or 3 CD's.  And Sandra Boynton has some good books, our favorite is Moo, Bee, Asi fue!  But you can find many authors either translated in Spanish or Spanish children authors in most bookstores or online. 



Oh, and BTW I "delineate" one language from the other by speaking Spanish during certain times of day (ie- in the morning on the way to the babysitter or at night during storytime) and always identify which language I am speaking...en Espa#ol nos dicimos...tal, tal, tal or the English word for 'nube' is cloud.   Or speaking only certain languages with certain people...his Uncle will speak Spanish with me or at visits with bilingual children we speak Spanish.  If that makes any sense??



Bueno, te espero que esta les ayuda.  Que disfrute el camino bilingue con su familia!

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Wow that is going to be a challenge, because we have lots of kids and the first ones do speak spanich but with a strong accent and the rest just dont, and our four year old she only hears english so thats all she speaks. When my Mom lived near they actually tried to speak spanish more but she moved away so now they dont. But be for sure they understand everything you tell them in spanish. I am sure they will eventually speak fluently when they grow up more and appreciate there native tounge. Well good luck to you, may GOD bless your bundle of joy!!!

Hilda - posted on 04/11/2009

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I never remember learning spanish when I was little I just automatically knew it. And I agree with everyone else, by talking to him or reading stories in spanish he'll pick it up!

Robynn - posted on 04/10/2009

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Megan, Not onlyam I bilingual but I am also studying early childhood development and family science right now. The best way for your baby to learn spanish is now. One way is for one parent to always speak spanish, not only to the baby but around the baby. Another way would be for you and your husband to make a schedule that at what time would you speak what language. For example; certain days of the week you will speak english and others spanish or perhaps you would speak one language during the day but the other at the supper table and in the evening. How and when you speak what language is not important, just that he hear both on a regular basis.



  If you feel he hears more of one language than the other, you could by videos or cds with childrens songs and shows in the other language.



  Hope this helps.



Robynn

Ilsita - posted on 04/10/2009

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hi Megan, there is TV Shows in spanish like plaza Sesamo, Dora the explorer that teach in spanish and kids love it , is very important that u learn to so u kid can ask u questions to. remember... u are the most importatn persons in his life, is gona copy everysingle movement or word so need commitment from u.

User - posted on 03/24/2009

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Mi familia conoce una pareja la sra. es Mexicana y el sr. es Ingles viven en Canada tambien y el sr les hablaba en espanol a sus hijos en la casa, ahora ya son casados pero hablan muy bien el Ingles y el Espanol.



Yo creo que hablandole espanol puede ayudar en la casa y con todos los amigos que hablen espanol, asi le hablo yo a mi hija. Pero nosotros somos los dos Mexicanos viviendo en Canada.



 

Claudia - posted on 03/24/2009

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I am from Mexico and my husband is from the US. Since my babies were in utero I have been speaking Spanish to them, once they were born it was ONLY Spanish from Mami, English from Daddy. My daughter is 3 and she has no problem understanding both languages and she KNOWS that Daddy speaks a different language from Mami, and switches without any problems

Nancy - posted on 03/22/2009

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Hello Megan,

I'm Mexican American and I have a 21 month old boy. The way that I've been teaching him Spanish is to speak both languages to him. With little ones you speak in 3 to 4 word sentences which makes it easy to say those in both languages. It's like repeating yourself but you are doing it in two different languages. My son understands both but because he's verbal skills are still very limited he picks the one that he can actually say. I also buy books that have both English and Spanish, so sometimes I read the Spanish and sometimes the English. I also came across a series of videos by Vivora de la Mar. My son loves them and it's a great way for me to expose him to Hispanic poetry and nursery rhymes. Hope this helps.

Rafaela - posted on 03/20/2009

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Your case and mine are similar, in the opposite side, lol... my first language is spanish, but I'm fluent in english.... something I've learned reaserching, is that sometimes you will have the eventual result of a kid being bilingual if he is exposed to a language enough... his brain wires for that language if he hears it from birth.... my kid is 3, and he is by no means bilingual, beacuse I kept forgetting to only speak in english to him when he was born, and at some point I started to do it only in spanish, but I kept up the TV and DVD's in english, and whenever he is watching something in spanish, or english, I'll translate words or frases for him, and in a playfull manner I'll have him repeat what I say.....
Sometimes I see him watching some DVD and I could swear he understands....

Jen - posted on 03/17/2009

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i'm bilingual and i always make sure i talk to my kids English and Spanish i also have them watch some programs in Spanish my son is 7 yrs old and he doesn't like to speak Spanish in having a hard time with him pero ya esta aprendiendo un poco lol

Karla - posted on 03/12/2009

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Well girl like everyone else has told u speak spanish at all time with u baby,  sing  songs, read stories in spanish too and trust me he will learn, El espanol es  un lenguague muy sexy.. ellos aprende el ingles en la escuela ...Dora and diego r really good shows and don't forget sesame street.. Good luck!!

Celina - posted on 03/11/2009

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We make it fun. We play a game "Como se dice...". My 5 year old daughter will say a word in either spanish or english and I will repeat the word in the opposite language. The object of the game is to stomp mommy. I have noticed an expansion of her vocabulary in both languages and it makes me think on the spot.

Christina - posted on 03/06/2009

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I watch Plaza Sesamo on Univision, Saturday mornings (or DVR it, if you don't get up early on the weekends!!) but it has taught ME a lot of spanish and my daughter loves it!! She's only 13 months so she doesn't speak yet, but when I talk spanish to her she understands. My husband doesn't speak it and even he has picked up on some phrases and commands! So watching it with your children will help you tune your own spanish speaking skills! Buena Suerte!! oh and don't worry about being grammatically correct, cause trying to translate exactly and conjugate your verbs will only make it harder and more frustrating, it'll come to you and your baby, No Te Preocupes!!

Megan - posted on 03/04/2009

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Thank you all for your ideas! I think it will be harder for us because our first language is english, not spanish, so to speak our second language all the time at home is asking...a lot, especially of my husband who doesn't speak as well or as easily as I do. We both spent about 2 years in spanish speaking countries and learned this way...but since then we are even forgetting a lot ourselves. I admit it would be even good for me to retain the language if I spoke it only to my son. There is a lot of spanish I don't know, and I find myself looking in the dictionary a lot, or wondering how to say something in spanish.



Any more suggestions for dvd's etc or other aids?

Jessica - posted on 03/04/2009

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I suggest you put alot of spanish speaking kids shows and dvd's.. it helps.. and also speak to him in spanish. I have 2 kids and since he was a baby, i always spoke to him in spanish, and now when he was 2 and started to pick up english, i always let him know what something is called in both languages or how it is said in both languages.. it helps him alot.. and i find him fluent in both languages now that he is in preschool.

Jessica - posted on 03/01/2009

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educational tv,,,dora n diego which teach them what words mean the same thing...my son is fluent and he is only 2

Griselle - posted on 03/01/2009

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Both my husband and I speak Spanish. We've seen many hispanic families speak to their children in English and then it's too late when they want their children to learn Spanish. The way we do it is how my parents taught us. We only speak to our daughter in Spanish. All time time. We don't speak English in our home, although we are fluent. The reason for this is for the child to concentrate on the language. Whenever the child starts talking to their little friends say in church or in the neighborhood they are going to easily pick up the English language. By the time they start kindergarten they'll be fluent in English. The reason for this is that children imitate and learn really fast. English will be picked up in other places. When we were growing up this is how my parents taught us. Whenever we went to church we learned English with our little friends. We were placed in a bilingual kindergarten and by first grade we were in only English classes. We never forgot any of the languages, even after we moved to Puerto Rico.

Marissa - posted on 02/28/2009

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I am bilingual but my husband is not. I made sure that my daycare provider spoke very little english. This made sure that during the day they only heard spanish. It not only insured my kids would speak it but it forced my husband to learn more also. I also have them watch cartoons/children programs in spanish.

Maria - posted on 02/28/2009

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talk to him in both spanish & english, all the time , ill will become one for him over time, pbs in spanish is important ,  dont give up , if you home is bylingual all the time so will he !!

Rafaela - posted on 02/27/2009

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My case is the other way around, I'm from latin america, and my husband and I speak spanish (first language), but are fluent in english.... it's very important to speak to them in the language you want them to learn... I started a bit too late (it's easier if you do it from the start), but i'm getting there....
Everything my kid is allowed to watch in TV or DVDs I play in english (SAP button for the TV!! and make sure the DVDs come with the option for spanish audio)... also, try to start letting him know the different words for things both in spanish and english, and you can add some short frases to your routine with him, like "sientate, levantate, con cuidado, vamos", things you use regularly in english....
I thought my kid wasn't really getting it at first (he's 3 and we started the whole thing at about 1 1/2), but now I catch him saying a couple of things in english every now and then...
Just don't give up...
If your kid is young enough, and you both (you and your husband) have no problem communicating in spanish, talk to him only in spanish.... my nephew speaks both languages since he learned to speak, beacuse his grandmother only spoke in spanish to him (still does to this day), she was the only person who did with that consistancy, and it forced him to pick it up or he wouldn't understand her....
Hope it goes well!!

Lenny - posted on 02/27/2009

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Make sure your son knows what things are in english and spanish. basically double teaching.

Cindy - posted on 02/27/2009

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only talk to him in Spanish, i know is a bit hard my fiance is Australian and only speaks English and sometimes is just easy for me to speak in English rather than Spanish that is my first language, also read and put tv programs in Spanish, good luck

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