Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Ear for Spanish

Earlier in the year, I blogged our plan for building an ear for Spanish. A week-long trip to El Salvador provided timely reinforcement. Before Christmas, Pamela finished her first audio book in Spanish, Ricitos de Oro. I cannot stress hear enough that we are taking great pains to avoid the written word so we can get Spanish into her ear. Most of us learned our first language in that mode, so it makes sense to do the same for a second language. Try reading the following sentence, "No hay más," and then compare you pronunciation to how a native speaker would do it.

When we listened to this story and homemade stories narrated by Steve, we looked at pictures to go with the words, phrases, and sentences. I built in a short review of new vocabulary and, once Pamela seemed to know it, I rotated it out. It did take up a bit of time editing audio files and finding appropriate pictures. The effort was worth it!

Last week, I assessed how Spanish is going. First, Pamela narrated Goldilocks in Spanish with voices and all! She narrated each picture from the book without seeing any words. Second, I asked her the meaning of words from the book. Third, I asked her to tell me some words she learned from our homemade stories. Finally, she sang songs we learned from De Colores. The one struggle Pamela has with the music is that she ends up having to jump octaves (as I do) for they are not in the best range for us. Oh, well, nothing is perfect!

Narration of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Spanish"--She Is NOT Reading

Receptive Understanding of Goldilocks"

Expression of Words and Phrases from Homemade Stories

Spanish Songs

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