Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 strategies for successful language acquisition

When I first started out at BYU I wasn't sure what I wanted my major to be. For a while I thought I wanted to teach Spanish in high school (until I found out what the salary for a first year teacher in Utah was-yikes!). I took a couple classes that stressed the importance of teaching your students using only the foreign language in the classroom. This class offered some great tips that I believe apply to bilingualism in the home as well.

This was my take away:

  1. The key to keeping the class in Spanish lies with the teacher, or in this case the parent. If you break down and use English they will do the same. 
  2. If you are using the method where you will be speaking both languages in the home, pick a couple days a week where Spanish is the only language you speak that day (works especially well with older children)
  3. If they express something in English that you know they can say in Spanish don’t accept it. Insist that they say it in Spanish as well. 
  4. Consistency! Avoid picking and choosing Spanish days at random. Your children will benefit from regular use of the language. Whether it be 3 days a week, only at dinner, at bedtime, or whenever, just be consistent!
  5. Full immersion is really the best way to learn a language (however, depending on your home life, it may not always be the most realistic)

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