Thursday, March 26, 2009
Teaching Spanish to Young Children - Salsa
I'm not usually a fan of the immersion method for teaching foreign languages, but on occasion I stumble over a resource that uses immersion well. The Salsa program put out by Georgia Public Broadcasting is one of them.
It is aimed at an audience from Kindergarten through second grade, and it is excellent. I would go so far as to say it is one of the best beginning Spanish programs out there. You can check it out at www.gpb.org/salsa. Even if your children are a little bit older than the target audience, I would still check it out.
The cost of the program is somewhat prohibitive to the average homeschool family, but much of it can be accessed for free on their website. This includes entire episodes, Spanish learning games, and parent/teacher resources - far too many free resources for the thrifty homeschooler to pass up! The best part of this program is that it does not require a teacher to be trained in Spanish in order to use it well.
We happened to catch most of the episodes when they aired on one of the Spanish language channels several years ago. My older children picked up quite a bit of Spanish from it. I'm delighted to have access to the episodes now for my younger children as well. I did notice that the episodes have added an English introduction, and a sign language component, that I find a little bit distracting. However, we had such success with the original form of the episodes, I'm willing to give the people at Georgia Public Broadcasting the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps these added features will prove useful to the children too.
Anyway, I could go on all day about how wonderful this program is, but you really should just click over and check it out for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
It's great to be a homeschooler!