I believe that having fun while learning a foreign language is very important for keeping our young students motivated. That is why I try to balance the time we spend covering the curriculum, with some time when the children can relax and have fun.
There is an old Chinese proverb that describes the beauty of learning languages through games:
“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand”
Games provide an alternative route to learning a language while providing a pleasurable method to do so. Children love to play games because they offer a dynamic learning atmosphere and they don’t realize that they are practicing the target vocabulary because in their minds it is just a game. Do we need to review numbers 0 to 100? Let’s play Bingo! Do we have new vocabulary about farm animals? Let’s practice it with a farm animal domino. Are we learning body parts? “Simon says” works fantastic! Verb conjugation? Rolling dice challenges them as well.
My students also like listening and singing Spanish songs. I usually prepare worksheets where they need to fill out some missing words by listening to the song a couple of times; afterwards we talk about what the song is about and finally they learn the lyrics and sing the song. Another entertaining activity where the students practice vocabulary is having contests. Sometimes they play individually, other times in pairs or in teams.
But what the students love most is preparing a play in Spanish. The children enjoy the rehearsals, reading their lines, improving their pronunciation and finally, performing the play in front of the parents and relatives.
Those are examples of the fun things we do at LAL Spanish class.
By: Loreto Romeu, LAL Teacher