Welcome to our monthly Spotlight on Five! ~ Do-It-Yourself Language Immersion
Recently I spent some time with a European woman who spoke three languages fluently. She made the comment that you could study a language indefinitely, but you’d never truly know it until you actively used it. That ideal situation is rarely available to most homeschoolers, but there are some things you can do to mimic language immersion at home.
The easiest way to engage your child in a language is with games. Of course there are lots of interactive games on the internet, but even better are games involving other human beings. To find these, search the internet for “[foreign language] classroom games.” Sure, some of these need lots of kids, but others easily adapt to just a few. You might find instructions for games like “Simon Says,” “Pictionary,” charades, “I Spy,” or memory games.
As an example, one favorite game in my homeschool co-op class is “Doggie, Doggie, Who Has Your Bone?” I remember playing that when I was little! But in this case, the kids must use Spanish. Of course, I write out the phrases they need in order to play. The instructions for any foreign language game you find should give you the exact phrases to say as you go along.
Another way to have kids actively use a language is through singing. You can find kids’ songs in foreign languages on YouTube, but it might be a challenge to get matching written lyrics, which are really helpful. With that in mind, consider purchasing a CD of kids’ songs with the written words included. Pick an easy song initially, and sing it once before every language lesson. After you have the first song memorized, add another.
Another great way to practice language immersion is to watch a children’s video in that language, and run the English subtitles as it plays. If your children are too young to read subtitles, interpret aloud for them. For an older student, try watching an English movie while running the foreign-language subtitles. I am currently doing this with an older student with “The Lord of the Rings.” We are noticing some flaws; there are some unfinished sentences in the translations–but it’s a fun way to learn!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be sure to keep it simple and to keep it fun. Language immersion is possible at home!
Carol Henderson loves to teach and is very thankful for the privilege of homeschooling her 5 children over the past 20 years. Carol currently enjoys teaching Elementary Spanish, Hands-On History, and Geography and World Cultures in a large, homeschool co-op in her hometown. She also authors and maintains the award-winning website, www.ABookInTime.com, to help both homeschool moms and traditional teachers find the best reading books, crafts and projects, maps, and other activities for teaching hands-on history. Carol also provides the Elementary Spanish instruction at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
Note from TOS: Please use care and caution when exploring the internet with your children. Monitor your children, and guide them when searching for resources or using videos from YouTube. Watching videos on full screen will help avoid viewing advertisements or offensive material.
Take a look below at this month’s resources for additional ideas. Be sure to let us know how you teach foreign language in your homeschool. Email Paul and Gena Suarez and share your story. We’d love to hear about it!
January’s Spotlight on FOREIGN LANGUAGE!
Greek ‘n’ Stuff
CASA Fun Club
We are dedicated to providing an inexpensive, fun way for parents to teach Spanish to their children from preschool through high school. The method is a natural and interactive process getting the whole family involved. Whether through conversation, following Spanish recipes, music, games, learning about Spanish culture or more, this will be a fun learning experience for anyone interested in becoming fluent.
Our curriculum levels range to fit a child’s individual needs, based on their age, grade level, and current Spanish experience. Created by a native Spanish teacher and homeschooling mom, CASA Fun Club strives to make material affordable for everyone and provides inexpensive sibling sets. Complete sets also include lesson plans, flashcards, CD-ROM, and a handbook, making it easy to jump right in teaching Spanish. Flexible lesson plans allow children go at their own pace.
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine said this about us in a review a few years ago:
“. . . This program has many components homeschool parents are looking for when searching for a foreign language program that they do not speak . . . it also has a Christian component geared towards evangelizing Spanish speaking people . . . “
Since then, CASA Fun Club curriculum has been further developed into an even better program.
Schola Publications / The Latin Road
Good news! You CAN teach Latin even if you have never studied it before! The LATIN Road to English Grammar is a comprehensive language curriculum designed for anyone who desires to gain a more complete knowledge of English through the study of Latin. This curriculum is so complete that you can learn and teach Latin at the same time; learn along with your students. All the materials you need are included for easy learning and teaching - textbook, worksheets, tests, color-coded vocabulary drill cards, answer keys, lesson plans, verb charts, audio pronunciation CDs and teacher training DVDs.
So why study Latin? First and foremost, there is no other language in the world’s history that affects English as much as Latin; our vocabulary is over 60% Latin-based, supplying us with our more sophisticated and technical words with clues to their meanings and spellings. You also get a good working introduction to the five Latin languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Rumanian. Best of all, by translating between Latin and English, you not only learn the details of both well, you learn how most of the languages of the world work.
Visit our website at www.thelatinroad.com for more information and to request/download samples.
This University of California accredited course for Latin makes the language interactive for students, with an engaging storyline and notebooking activities. It has received positive reviews from Cathy Duffy and many others (see our site.) The course consists of five levels through AP Latin, with each level counting as one year of foreign language.
Students organize the material from the beginning. As with most languages, the first two levels are primarily grammar and vocabulary while the later volumes are topic centered and contain more reading passages. Bible verses are used for some translation exercises and there is a lot of interesting historical information at every level. In fact, the Bible in Latin is the primary reading source. Pronunciation CDs are available, online classes too!
From the beginning, the teacher is guided in every way. The teacher’s guides have complete teacher instruction and everything the student sees in the text plus the answers. Volume 1 begins with a grammar review and talks about the Roman alphabet. Students are introduced to a Roman family. Subject areas include: Gaul, a brief history of Italy, Roman roads, Rome itself, the calendar, Circus Maximus, Roman character and art, monarchy, republic, Judea, and the history of the Bible.
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