May 24, 2023 byNicole Canun Spanish for Kids 0 comments
Teaching a toddler a second language can sometimes seem daunting, but don´t worry, we got you!
These practical tips and strategies will help you to introduce a second language into your kids’ daily lives.
If you’re looking over the fence at the possibility of teaching second languages early to your kids, here are some facts that can help you make the decision easily:
There are many ways of exercising your brain, such as memory games, reading, and meditation. But one of the best ones is to learn a new language.
This will light up many different brain regions that work together to promote faster responses and better problem-solving abilities, memory, self-control, and sense of achievement.
Teaching a toddler a second language is also a great way of reducing the risk of mental illness and preventing cognitive aging. But, again, this is because it improves executive functions.
Don’t forget to track and celebrate progress constantly as well!
So, let’s dive in!
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Strategies for Teaching a Toddler a Second Language
Teach your toddler Spanish with these strategies we have cured, which are easy for you and your children to practice at home.
Introduce a second language to your kids by spending quality time with them.
Reading together can be the perfect time to bond and let their little brains develop with a few words in Spanish here and there as a first step.
Eventually, you will move on to Spanish full-time; stories before bedtime are a great idea.
Books in Spanish can help to internalize foreign languages. Choose those that you feel are more interesting and striking.
According to research, children like repetition. It provides a sense of safety, knowing what happens at the end. They gain self-esteem and feel they’re moving forward.
So remember to repeat stories and words, even see if they can guess what comes next exclusively in Spanish. They’ll most probably relate certain words with images and colors on pages.
Teaching toddlers a second language means patience, consistency, shared learning, and a good family time!
Watch TV in Spanish
Spanish TV shows and movies are getting more and more accessible around the world. From Dora the Explorer to Telenovelas, there is plenty to watch and learn in this beautiful tongue.
As a parent, you need a break sometimes when teaching a toddler a second language. Why not benefit from that time off by putting something educational on the screen?
See next:What’s the Best Age for Kids to Learn Spanish
Sing Spanish Songs
Sing and dance along to these Spanish songs! Prepare for a moment of joy and quality time by learning while teaching a toddler a second language.
Traditional songs from Latin America and Spain include short lessons on how to say or use certain words. Others have directions on how to dance to the lyrics and interact with others.
Some examples areThe chicks say, Las mañanitas,andThe march of the vowels.
Find a well-thought and abundant playlist here:15 Super Popular Spanish Songs for Kindergarten
In today’s era, you must include technology in your strategies when teaching a toddler a second language.
Benefit from the wide range and kinds of both interactive and non-interactive YouTube material available on the internet.
You can find videos, channels, and series based on your level of exposure to Spanish.
The most famous topics are numbers, animals, the alphabet, family members, and colors, but you can seek further.
Here are some examples to guide you in finding what you’re looking for and what you deem appropriate for your children:
- Peppa Pig in Spanish Episodes | Small Creatures | Peppa Pig
- The Colors in Spanish | Jack Hartmann Colors Songs | Colores | Spanish and English Colors
- The Farm Animals in Spanish
- Preschool learning | sing along | Learn Spanish | Vocabulary | SEL | Musica
- Learn Spanish for Kids – Numbers, Colors & More – Rock ‘N Learn
Include Spanish Words in Your Daily Routine
One of the best ways to teach toddlers a second language is to include Spanish words in their daily routines.
They mustn’t see it as just another class or something to practice occasionally but a tool for everyday use.
You can start by telling them the name of some easy ingredients and cutlery while cooking like:
Bacon –The bacon
Eggs –The eggs
Jam –The jam
Juice –The juice
Knife –The knife
Oranges –The oranges
Pan –The pan
Plate –The plate
Sausage –The sausage
Spoon –The spoon
Sugar –The sugar
And don’t forget the morning and night activities, such as chores and leisure projects:
To bathe –Take a bath
To color –Color
To cook –Cook
To drink –To take
To eat –Comer
To finish homework –Finish the homework
To fix –Arrange
To get in –To enter
To go out –Go out
To go to school –Go to school
To look for –Look for
To need something –Need
To study –Study
To want something –To want
To wash –Lavar
To wash teeth –Brush your teeth
Hand-picked for you:Teach Your Child Spanish
Share a Tradition From a Spanish-Speaking Country
Sharing traditions from other countries with your kids is an excellent way of learning a new language but also to become more tolerant toward other cultures.
This is an indispensable trait that will improve their personal and professional lives.
Choosing a holiday or custom from a Spanish-speaking country can seem an enormous task: where to begin?
Your kids will definitely love to know about the Mexican Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Why?
Because it’s colorful, flowery, and has a profound significance. It’s about our loved ones who have passed, and people believe that they come back to Earth once a year to spend time with us.
To learn more about activities, symbolisms, and vocabulary, read the following articles:
- How to Celebrate Mexico’s Day of the Dead Like a True Mexican.
- The Ultimate Vocabulary Guide to Day of the Dead in Spanish.
Another idea is to pick a holiday that has a typical dish as a central attraction, like Argentinian Empanada Day. Then, you can make a fun cooking day out of it while teaching your toddler a second language.
Learn more about the holiday and how to make empanadas here:
- National Empanada Day (Free Spanish Lessons For Kids).
- Argentinian Beef Empanadas Recipe.
Play Games in Spanish
Play all the games your toddlers know and are familiar with, but you must only speak Spanish.
Simon says, and I spy with my little eye, are perfect examples of easy games you can organize with some basic words.
The first one,Simon says, is better for verbs, and I spy with my little eye is better for nouns and adjectives.
You can mix them for a joyful day and to get a complete, well-rounded Spanish lesson while having fun!
Read next:The Secret Formula to Teach Your Children Spanish When You Don’t Speak the Language
Let Them Talk
The most important tip we can give you if you’re on your way to teaching a toddler a second language is to encourage them to talk.
That’s how you can track progress and find the weak points in their learning journey.
Practice will help them to reach an upper level.
Kids also live and learn by example, so it’s indispensable that they hear you speak Spanish and show interest in learning the language.
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Want more Spanish resources? Check these out!
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Freelance WriteratHomeschool Spanish Academy
Blogger, content creator, and marketer. Proudly Mexican. Been to 30 countries. I love learning from different cultures and trying their cuisines. Obsessed with Asia. Fluent in Spanish and English, not so much in French.
Latest posts by Nicole Canún(see all)
- Tips for Introducing Your Toddler to the Spanish Language- May 24, 2023
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spanish for kids
- Make learning a part of their everyday. The success of language learning, as with any form of learning, comes down to repetition. ...
- Introduce them to native speakers. ...
- Hire a language au pair or book a homestay. ...
- Take it one step at a time.
- Speak it at Home. If you can, learn how to speak Spanish yourself! ...
- Watch Spanish Cartoons. ...
- Use Labels. ...
- Find Native Speakers. ...
- Emphasize Culture. ...
- Try Classic Flashcards. ...
- Sing Spanish Songs. ...
- Watch Movies with Subtitles.
- How you can teach your child a language you don't speak. ...
- Introduce languages early. ...
- Join social groups with people who speak the target language. ...
- Host an Au pair to introduce a second language. ...
- Hire a Bilingual Nanny or Babysitter. ...
- Online Language Lessons. ...
- Give your Child a Bilingual Education.
Summary: According to FSI, if you spend 3 hours per day learning Spanish, you'll achieve fluency in around six months. Reduce your Spanish time to one hour a day and, according to FSI, it will take about 1.5 years to learn. As you can see, Spanish is one of the most accessible languages for English speakers.How do you overcome language delay in toddlers? ›
- Focus on communication. Talk with your baby, sing, and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.
- Read to your child. Start reading when your child is a baby. ...
- Use everyday situations. To build on your child's speech and language, talk your way through the day.
Further, bilingual children do not seem to use their two languages haphazardly. Even 2-year olds show some ability to modulate their language according to the language used by their conversational partner (Genesee, Boivin, & Nicoladis, 1996).How much should a bilingual 2 year old speak? ›
The Second Year
Additionally, they should have a vocabulary ranging from 20 to 50 words between all of the languages they speak. For example, a Spanish-English bilingual child may have 15 words in Spanish and an additional 10 words in English, which would mean they have a total expressive vocabulary of 25 words.
Between the ages of 2 and 3, most children: Speak in two- and three-word phrases or sentences. Use at least 200 words and as many as 1,000 words. Ask questions that start with who, what, where or why, such as "Where is mommy?"What is the first thing to teach Spanish? ›
A beginner Spanish learner focuses on learning the essential use of the language such as: presentation, basic vocabulary and everyday phrases. Therefore, the first lessons for teaching Spanish to beginners will focus on how to ask questions, construct simple sentences and basic concepts.What is the best age for a child to learn Spanish? ›
It concluded that starting to learn a new language before age 10 will give a learner the best chance of achieving proficiency similar to that of a native speaker. Why before 10 years old? Because children's brains are adept at learning the grammatical rules and pronunciation of new languages.
Start Early: As we've already mentioned, the earlier you start teaching your kids Spanish, the better. Ideally, you should start teaching them before they turn six years old, as this is the age when their brains are most receptive to learning a second language.Do bilingual babies have speech delay? ›
Learning two languages in childhood does not cause confusion or language delay. The idea that two languages causes language delays in children has been a long-standing myth in the United States. However, research has dispelled this myth.What is the easiest language for a child to learn? ›
Because of its Latin roots, nearly identical alphabet and pronunciation rules, Spanish is one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn. Learning Spanish at early age can help your child learn the other Latin-based languages in the future such as French and Italian.Do bilingual babies take longer to start talking? ›
Bilingual children may say their first words slightly later than monolingual children, but still within the normal age range (between 8-15 months) (11). And when bilingual children start to produce short sentences, they develop grammar along the same patterns and timelines as children learning one language (5).What is the hardest language to learn? ›
Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.How long does it realistically take to learn Spanish? ›
If you start out as a beginner and manage to spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should be able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to about 250 – 350 hours spent.How many hours a day to learn Spanish? ›
The more time you dedicate to studying and practicing Spanish each day, the faster you will get through those learning hours. If you're wondering how much time I think you should spend learning Spanish, I suggest you set aside at least 60-90 minutes each day for dedicated Spanish learning.What is the most common cause of language delays in toddlers? ›
The most common causes of speech delay include: Hearing loss. Slow development. Intellectual disability.What age is a late talker? ›
A “Late Talker” is a toddler (between 18-30 months) who has good understanding of language, typically developing play skills, motor skills, thinking skills, and social skills, but has a limited spoken vocabulary for his or her age.At what age is a toddler considered speech delayed? ›
Signs of a speech delay
Age 2: doesn't use at least 25 words. Age 2 1/2: doesn't use unique two-word phrases or noun-verb combinations. Age 3: doesn't use at least 200 words, doesn't ask for things by name, hard to understand even if you live with them. Any age: unable to say previously learned words.
Advanced Sentence Structures
A typical 2-year-old can construct sentences of two or three words, often without a verb. For example, a child might say, "There cat" for "There is a cat." Gifted children, however, will often be able to speak in fuller sentences at age 2.
There is a wide range of language abilities in toddlers, and 2-year-olds' normal range is from 75-225 words. Children who are late talkers usually have an average vocabulary of 25 words.Do autistic 2 year olds babble? ›
What's more, typically developing infants are 17 times more likely to start babbling by 9 to 12 months of age than babies with autism are, and 6 times more likely to do so by 15 to 18 months, the study found. Of the 21 infants later diagnosed with autism, 19 did not babble normally at 1 year.What should a 2 year olds speech be like? ›
At around two years of age your child will probably have built up a core vocabulary of about one to two hundred words, and learned to join two words together. It is important to remember that children at this stage often do not pronounce words clearly, and that this is perfectly normal.Can you teach a toddler two languages at the same time? ›
Children can learn different languages at the same time. There is no research to suggest that exposing a young child to two languages will negatively impact their language development: Bilingualism advice from a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP).Is 3 languages too much for a toddler? ›
It's a question I'm asked a lot by mamas in our Cultured Home crew. The super-quick answer? Kids (including toddlers) can learn to speak multiple languages at the same time. 2, 3, 4….or more languages at once.What are red flags in child development? ›
Months Is not gazing at objects; does not tune out repetitive sounds; does not move eyes to follow sound Does not respond to loud sounds Does not coo or make sounds When lying on back: keeps hands fisted and lacks arm movements; is not bringing hands to mouth; lacks symmetrical arm movements; does not turn head to ...How high should a 2.5 year old count? ›
By age 2, a child can count to two ("one, two"), and by 3, he can count to three, but if he can make it all the way up to 10, he's probably reciting from rote memory. Kids this age don't yet actually understand, and can't identify, the quantities they're naming.Should a 2.5 year old know the alphabet? ›
Here's how and when kids typically learn their ABCs: Around age 2: Kids start recognizing some letters and can sing or say aloud the “ABC” song. Around age 3: Kids may recognize about half the letters in the alphabet and start to connect letters to their sounds.How to start learning Spanish step by step? ›
- Step 1: Understand Your Motivation.
- Step 2: Set Proper Goals for Your Learning.
- Step 3: Start a Course.
- Step 4: Buy Some Books.
- Step 5: Set a Schedule.
- Step 6: Immerse Yourself in Spanish.
- Other Things to Know About Starting Spanish.
- What to Expect in the Beginning. Different Ways to Learn Spanish. Be Your Own Teacher.
There is no set order to learning the language. There is a certain natural order in which you will pick things up, but that does not mean you should learn them in that order. A common criticism of courses is that they are too rigid and structured in their approach.Can a child learn Spanish by watching TV? ›
Watching television in Spanish allows you to not only hear the words and the proper pronunciation but also to see the actions that correspond with the words. Having actions to show the meaning of Spanish words is especially important for those words that have no literal translation into English.What age is the hardest to learn a language? ›
They concluded that the ability to learn a new language, at least grammatically, is strongest until the age of 18 after which there is a precipitous decline. To become completely fluent, however, learning should start before the age of 10.Is 1 year enough to learn Spanish? ›
Yes, you can become fluent in Spanish in a year if you're good at languages and dedicate many hours of studying per day. However, fluency usually requires at least 1.5 years, if not 2-3 years.How long does it take for a child to become fluent in a language? ›
A good rule of thumb is that you can expect to be conversational in a language within 6-12 months of dedicated study and practice. This means that you'll be able to hold basic conversations and understand most of what is being said. To reach fluency, you'll likely need to dedicate at least 2-3 years to the language.Can I teach my child Spanish if I'm not fluent? ›
Many parents are hoping their children will be exposed to Spanish, and if possible, begin on a journey of bilingualism. But if one of you does not speak Spanish fluently, can they effectively begin to teach your kids Spanish? The answer is YES.Can a 3 year old learn a new language? ›
Yes, absolutely. There's nothing stopping a 3-year-old or any toddler from learning more than one language. Children around the age of 3 are still building their vocabularies and would continue to be extremely receptive up until the age of 8.What causes speech delay in 2 year olds? ›
Speech delay occurs most often in those with an athetoid type of cerebral palsy. The following factors, alone or in combination, may account for the speech delay: hearing loss, incoordination or spasticity of the muscles of the tongue, coexisting mental retardation or a defect in the cerebral cortex.When speech delay is not autism? ›
The main difference between other speech delays and autism-related speech delays is that children who are just late talkers still attempt to engage and communicate in different ways. For example, they might make babbling sounds, point, and use other types of body language to get what they want.What if my 16 month old is not talking bilingual? ›
If your bilingual child isn't meeting speech and language developmental milestones, you should seek an evaluation from a bilingual speech-language pathologist or from a speech-language pathologist with an interpreter.
Spanish may be the #1 easiest language to learn. Not only does Spanish share the same alphabet – with the sole addition of ñ – but it's also phonetic. That makes figuring out new vocabulary easy, since the spelling tells you how to pronounce it.What is the best second language for a child to learn? ›
Like Spanish, French is an awesome language for children to learn because they may have more real-life opportunities to practice the language with others and learn from local community organizations. Plus, French is one of the most common languages to teach in American schools, alongside Spanish.What's the quickest language to learn? ›
- Frisian. ...
- Dutch. ...
- Norwegian. ...
- Spanish. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Italian. ...
- French. ...
Put very simply, there's no minimum age for learning Spanish. Child and language acquisition experts have established the best starting point for learning a foreign language. It's recommended that you start as soon as they're born, teaching them the language alongside English.What age should I teach my kid Spanish? ›
To answer the first question, almost all studies believe that it is never too early for a kid to begin learning a second language, and the sooner the better. According to several studies, second language learning skills peak around the age of 6 or 7.