I’ve decided to step into high gear and start Spanish reading lessons with my children this school year. I made the decision early in my motherhood not to force the Spanish language on my children by obligating them to speak ONLY Spanish in our home. I advocate multilingualism and do not wish to promote one language over another. I therefore speak to them in Spanish, however their primary language is English. They attend a school which is fortunate to have a foreign language program from 1st through 12th grades, where they have studied Spanish and German. They continue to excel in their Spanish grammar classes, still, I would not consider them fully bilingual as they have yet to make the Spanish language a part of them. I make every intention to expose them to the various cultures of the Spanish language, and make sure they are aware and proud of being a part of the Mexican culture. It is now the opportune time to introduce Spanish literature and reading comprehension. I’ll start with the older children while having the younger ones close by to eavesdrop and unconsciously experience the reading. It will be our own experimental experience of language acquisition and oh so much fun!
So I perused my Spanish library and have chosen several young adult bilingual books. My lesson plan: to sit down at bedtime and read with the children, just as I have been doing with English books. Reading for 15 minutes a night will get us started and get them curious enough to want to do it longer, or not. At least, that’s the goal. I’ll share with you the reading material, our progress, and the children’s perspectives. Perhaps this will help you in your own family’s foreign language studies. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences of success and/or obstacles that you may encounter. ¡Suerte! to us all.
Family Spanish Reading Lesson #1
By Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Translated by Karina Hernández
Piñata Books | Arte Público Press
Paperback | $7.47