Title: ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends
Author: Judy Martialay
Published Date: November 30th 2015
***THIS BOOK WAS PROVIDED TO NERD GIRL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish Visit New Places and Make New Friends! Introduces children to Spanish. The purpose of the book is to give children an enjoyable experience learning the language as well as to teach them a useful skill. The age range of children is roughly 6-10, although it should include the largest age range possible. It is especially useful for parents and children who reside in the many districts where foreign language is not offered in elementary school. My hope is that kids and their parents will be inspired to continue their study of Spanish throughout school, so that they can truly communicate to the millions of Spanish speakers throughout the world. The book can be used by older children themselves. It can be adapted for use in Foreign Language in Elementary School , FLES, programs and in Foreign Language Experience, FLEX, programs. It can be used by librarians. It would make a great gift for grandparents, relatives or anyone who has a child in his or her life and would like to give that child the beginning of a truly world class education. It can be used by parents, whether or not they speak Spanish, and their children. There is an audio version of the book on http://polyglotkidz.com. Children and parents should follow along with book and audio so that they learn the best pronunciation. The book begins with an introduction, where Pete the Pilot invites children aboard his magic plane for an imaginary trip to Mexico. On board, children are given some basic words and expressions to learn. Parents and children will have best results when learning the Spanish when they repeat often, and use the Spanish in everyday life situations. The book is designed to help them do that. When the children arrive in Mexico, they meet Panchito, the jumping bean, and they follow his adventures while learning Spanish, and becoming acquainted with the culture of Mexico. When they return, they bring their Spanish back home with them. In the activities section, they are encouraged to use Spanish in every day situations. For example, they have a treasure hunt of people and objects around their house. They can have fun putting on a skit with their friends. In the Culture Corner, kids learn more about the different customs that they meet during the story, and they get more ideas on how to use their Spanish. They can sing the traditional song for breaking the piñata. In the craft section, children can make a mask with frijoles, beans that they encountered in the story. There are more opportunities for using Spanish. With the vocabulary section, they can hear again how each word or phrase is pronounced. With ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, children engage in a variety of activities designed to accomodate a variety of learning styles, and enjoy communicating in Spanish.
Hola starts with an engaging story about a Mexican Jumping Bean. The author reads the story in English while another narrator enunciates some of the words and phrases in Spanish. Students can easily determine the meaning of the words through the simple sentence context. The story is quite cute, and it will appeal to you children.
After the story, there are a variety of lessons such as introductions, conversations, and things found in and around a home. A skit is provided for students and parents to act out. The physical activity of the skit reinforces the words learned. Furthermore, there are age-appropriate cultural lessons. I enjoyed learning about jumping beans, bargaining in a market, parties and pinatas. Lastly, there is an interesting lesson on masks that includes a craft project.
The combination of stories, skits, crafts and lessons provides a wonderful introduction to Spanish language and culture. I would have loved a resource such as ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends when my children were starting school.
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