The most important thing in learning any language is to do a lot of listening to get used to the sounds and to acclimate your ear to the usage. In this age of YouTube and internet, this is simple to do. Have your kids watch movies, kids shows, and youtube videos. Many of their favorite shows on Netflix can also be watched in other languages. It is handy to also turn on the subtitles in your target language. This will help when it comes time to learn the writing and grammar of the new language.
As far as being able to find a good Spanish curriculum, I just haven’t found any that I like. I grew up in Mexico and I minored in Spanish in college, so I guess I am a little picky. Spanish, I think, is probably one of the easier languages to learn. The best thing about it is that every letter in most every word makes a sound and the sound for each letter seldom changes.
Alphabet Differences From English
There are no diphthongs, in fact, they added a couple extra letters to the alphabet to cover the few combined sounds such as “ch” which makes a “ch” sound as in chop, “ll” which makes a “y” sound as in yo-yo, “rr” which makes a super r sound which we don’t use in English and “ñ” which makes sort of an “ng” sound which we also don’t use much in English. There are also no short and long sounds for any of the vowels as there are in English. So once you learn the alphabet sounds, you will pretty much be able to read Spanish even if you don’t understand it yet.
Read Along/ Look Up Words
Spanish speakers can speak very quickly so that is why it is so important to do a lot of listening. Once you get used to the sounds, you will be able to read along with the speaking in videos or audiobooks. You will soon be able to figure out how to pronounce the words, and after a bit you will be able to spell words that you hear so you can look them up to see what they mean. I think this is the biggest advantage to learning Spanish as opposed to French where the writing doesn’t correspond very well to the spoken language.
So when we took a trip to Spain, I made this little book with the basics of Spanish. You are welcome to download the PDF below!
Free PDF Download of Spanish Basics
more pics from Spain