Many parents in the past have said, “I’d love to help my son/daughter study Spanish, but I don't speak a word of it." If this fits you, I have some suggestions. Some specifically relate to Spanish and others are more general but very useful.
- Students need a permanent, quiet place to study.
- Students need to STUDY daily (not just do homework). Cramming doesn’t work because Spanish is cumulative. (This may surprise some students who have previously been very successful without much studying.)
- Encourage studying during those little lost moments of time such as: waiting for the dentist, in the car, during a game, five minutes before bed, etc.
- Help your student practice using some of the activities I have included in this handout. Many can be done with a partner who does not need to know Spanish.
- Encourage, beg, plead with your student to do other activities listed such as checking out library materials in Spanish, calling his/her classmates, etc.
I enjoy your children and look forward to working with them and you this year. If you have any questions, please call or send an e-mail message. My phone number is (425)408-7478. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tape record yourself speaking the language. Then replay it and listen for any errors and re-do it. You can use anything to record (textbook, etc.).
- Check out tapes, children’s books and C.D.s from the public library and listen to them often.
- Get a friend who speaks the language and talk to them, regularly.
- Call your classmates regularly and talk to them in Spanish.
- Go to restaurants where they use Spanish and use what you can.
- Use notecards - MAKE SURE that the words are correctly spelled. A partner can quiz you with your notecards.
- Write and re-write the words till you get it (the folded paper method).
- Keep a few cards taped up (in your room, bathroom or somewhere you will see them daily) until you spell them correctly. Then tape new ones up.
- Use the alphabet pronunciation to help you remember how to spell the words.
- Carry flash cards with you everywhere!!
Have a partner quiz you or quiz yourself.
Label things in your home with their Spanish name or an activity you associate with them. Make large enough to see from a distance.
Make five columns on a paper. Fill the first with Spanish and the second with the English translations. Fold the Spanish to the back (hidden) and translate from English to Spanish in the third column. Repeat.
- Spanish word/phrase on one side - English on the other
- A picture on one side and the Spanish word on the other (pictures can be drawn or cut from magazines etc.)
- Verbs - put the infinitive form on one side and the conjugations
on the other OR do type a) or b)
- Group similar types of words together, color code them, etc.
- Make a game of it.