Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tips for Reading to Children in Spanish

Yesterday I read La oruga muy hambrienta to my little class of 6.  It was definitely a hit.  I was feeling a little apprehensive about reading an entire book in Spanish to my students who had such a limited vocabulary.  They are familiar with numbers through 10, colors, days of the week, some emotions, how to say your name along with a few other things. I was nervous that they would feel intimidated by all the vocabulary they didn't know but I couldn't have been more wrong.  They loved it.  Now mind you it helped that I hammed it up as much as I could and did actions where appropriate.  I have read to my kids in Spanish since they were born but I did not how the other 4 kids would handle it.  It was a success.  After this experience I have some tips for reading to children in Spanish.

1.  Make sure they know SOME of the words already.  They don't need to know all the words, just a few here and there scattered throughout the book.

2.  Do actions when ever you can.  For example, if someone is eating in the book, mime eating.

3.  Ask a few questions throughout the story.  Maybe ask about a word they should know.  In our case I asked my students about the days of the week every time we came upon one of those words in the story.

4. Consider reading a story that they are already familiar with in Spanish.

5. If you notice that your students are drifting off a little go ahead and omit some of the words or just take a break and save the rest for another day.

6. If there is a repetitive line (like in i Salta, Ranita, salta! ) encourage students to say it with you.

7.  Have fun!

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