Just as with native language acquisition, the addition of other languages comes through consistent and shared learning. Language fluency is successful when it is practiced by a community of cultural students on a daily basis. Therefore if parents wish foreign language fluency for their child(ren) they must share in the learning experience.
Moving forward in foreign language learning brings us to RULLE number 5, experiencing the language’s culture(s). In addition to the celebration of the European Day of Languages, the month of September is the perfect time to start integrating rule #5 into your studies. With regard to the study of the Spanish language, the Mexican culture is full of color and diverse history, and is a fun culture to start experiencing. September 16th or, el 16 de septiembre de 1810, marks the beginning of Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain. On this day Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic priest, rang the church bells in a call, el grito de Dolores, to the criollo parishioners to fight for their nation’s independence from the peninsulares, that is, the Spanish leaders.
Integrating yourself and your child into the language’s culture(s) will gradually facilitate your comprehension and motivation to use the language out in public, taking your studies out of the classroom and/or textbook and into an active, engaging atmosphere. Search for cultural events around town and schedule them into your family calendar. For ideas take a look at Sententia Vera’s Cultural Calendar which promotes events from all over the US.
- Read bilingual books (daily)
- Use gestures & images for new vocabulary (daily)
- Learn together
- Listen to & practice with native speakers
- Experience the language culture(s)