I want to thank you, all the pre-K and Kindergarten families, for your support during this our first year of FLES program in our district. It was a successful first year! I won't stop saying how amazed I am by the children's ability to learn Spanish this year. Thank you so much for sharing stories of how the kids are enjoying learning Spanish, for your valuable feedback in the surveys and for the words of encouragement many of you had for me in the classroom visits. 

We are all excited about the summer vacation. Many parents have asked me what they can do for their children to keep practicing Spanish so they wouldn't forget much of what they learnt this year. Young children learn languages easily but they can also forget easily if they don't practice or are somehow exposed to the language. Giving children the opportunity to practice Spanish in any way will build their confidence and fluency and will help them retain what they learnt. Here are some suggestions what you can you. ANYTHING helps!

Suggestions on how to keep Spanish learning during the summer

-Just play and have fun: Count in Spanish with your child, ask your child the colors/shapes/sizes you see; play Simon says (Simón dice) with parts of the body; ask your child what clothes he/she is wearing; talk about the weather; name the pets you have or see in the park; ask your child what he/she likes (¿Te gusta....); what food she/he is eating; ask him/her to sing a song he/she learnt in Spanish, or learn a new song; go wild and dance to Spanish music with your child...etc.

- Go to the public library and get some CDs. Play Spanish songs in the car or in the house. There are also Spanish language learning DVDs such as Little Pim, Whistlefritz, Muzzy and Spanish for kids, among many others you might find. You’ll find them in the Foreign Language section.

- Give your child the opportunity to interact with Spanish speaking people. If you don’t have friends, relatives or neighbors that speak Spanish….no, you don’t need to travel abroad! We are very fortunate that in the Boston area there are authentic Spanish communities (in neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain, East Boston, East Somerville, among others). Just by exploring these neighborhoods -grocery stores, parks, restaurants- you can expose your child to the Spanish language and culture. And he/she will get a taste of how it feels like being in a Spanish speaking country. Your child can even greet some Spanish speaking people.

- Visit this blog with your child once in a while during the summer if you can. I will keep the blog open over the summer for this purpose. Find free online games and many of the songs and videos we used in class. We carefully selected them for language teaching purposes.

- If your child gets to have movie time, have him/her watch some movies in Spanish on rainy days. You can set the language on most DVD movies. Many Netflix movies have different language options as well. It'd be better to start with very familiar movies and, most importantly, in a laid back way (never force your child if you find resistance). Also, it is possible to find YouTube episodes of most children’s shows in Spanish -i.e. Dora la exploradora, la casa de Mickey mouse, Peppa Pig, Plaza Sésamo (Sesame street), los hermanos Kratts (Wild Kratts), etc. Type the name of the show in English and add 'in Spanish' or ‘en español' in your search if you don't know the Spanish name of your child's favorite show.


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