4 Essential Elements of an Effective Homeschool Spanish Curriculum
Updated on June 8, 2020.
Many homeschool Spanish programs claim to have a great method for learning and retaining the language, yet they seem to fail in effectiveness. That is, their methodology and materials fall short while they focus entirely on translation, and not true language acquisition.
To avoid a major pitfall like that, you’ll want to know exactly what to look for in your child’s homeschool Spanish curriculum. Luckily, it’s easier than you think. Specific elements make a profound impact in more effective language programs. Let’s see what the 4 essential elements of an effective homeschool Spanish curriculum are!
Read our in-depth guide on how to find the Perfect Spanish Curriculum for Your Child to find the program that suits your child!
1. Good Listening Practices
A great curriculum values listening skills as an important part of each lesson. Skill sets such as knowing the correct pronunciation of a word, being able to follow a conversation, and picking up on slight nuances in the language all come from active listening in class.
Early classes in a low-level Spanish class must emphasize pronunciation and phonetic awareness. An example of this is the teacher who stretches out a word to stress the pronunciation of each syllable or each vowel and consonant. Eventually, a strategically-taught string of words morphs into useful phrases that the student not only understands, but pronounces perfectly.
What’s more, it’s essential for your student to hear a variety of people speak Spanish. In essence, this helps the brain compile a sound file from the many versions of how a word or phrase sounds within a certain range, as opposed to the same thing over and over. A good class will help your child create this mental file and recognize a word in a song, conversation, or Spanish listening test.
While you consider potential curricula options, get your preschooler off to a stronger start by sharing our Interactive Spanish Book with them!
We promise to teach your preschool child how to speak Spanish through 70 pages of age-appropriate lessons that are directly linked to 136 hours of interactive Spanish videos online. Young learners, ages 3-5, will learn fundamental Spanish themes and grammar while they master important skills like listening, matching, identifying, classifying, and following instructions.
Did you know that language skills are not only reinforced but literally enhanced when you read? As you enjoy your favorite book, you mentally pronounce the words on the page, cataloging their shape and meaning as you store them in your long-term memory. This process gives you the power to categorize all of the words you know and to retrieve them from your memory when you need them. A program that includes active and leveled reading is the one you want to consider for your child.
The path to mastering Spanish literacy begins with single words and basic phrases consisting of two to three words. Contrary to how simple they seem, they are actually part of a complex process. Words, phrases, and conversational skills continue to grow and get more complicated further into the program. Your student’s Spanish comprehension level is directly dependent on how confident they feel in reading both to themselves and out loud to you or their instructor.
To achieve a well-balanced fluency, your student must acquire skills in Spanish writing. Similar to English writing, Spanish has a specific set of rules for punctuation and sentence structure that must be learned and mastered. It is essential that your child practice writing single words, basic phrases, and more complex ideas as he or she works through a program.
Many students balk at writing of any kind. It’s always the most trying and complicated part of language acquisition, even in the best classes. Since writing is where applied learning happens in Spanish class, it cannot be overlooked. Your child may struggle with this aspect more than any other—that’s normal. Just be ready with loads of extra support.
We’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of ways you can Support Your Child’s Spanish Class at Home!
Encourage your child to write out song lyrics, jokes, short stories and anything else they like in Spanish to enhance their new skills. Not only will it help them feel great about the new language they’re learning, but it will show you exactly how much they are understanding in class.
4. Speaking and Conversation
The importance of speaking and using Spanish is essential to any learner. Many Spanish curriculums put an emphasis on translating phrases into English or they focus only on reading and writing. While these aren’t necessarily bad things to do, they skip the most important element—speaking.
Language students who have an emphasis on conversation use a different part of their brains as they speak than when they write out an exercise or read a textbook. The combination of all three makes for a more complete and immersive experience and helps learners master Spanish on a deeper level.
Find the 4 Elements with HSA
At Homeschool Spanish Academy, your child has a Spanish speaker to practice with one on one as part of their daily practice. It helps them internalize each word and make it their own as they work through the program.
Check out our programs for every age level and see which one suits your child best!
Try a free trial session today and see for yourself why our teachers and our homeschool Spanish curriculum are helping so many students become bilingual!
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