To Learn to Speak Conversational Spanish - Find a Language Helper

To learn to speak conversational Spanish, you and your child will need the help of people who are fluent and preferably native.

This will ensure that your child has the opportunity to hear the language spoken perfectly and will help you with your pronunciation and vocabulary.

For language learning for kids,the best situation is to find someone - a "language helper" - to spend time with your child and speak Spanish. A language helper can play, read or sing with your child. However, they must only speak the focus language. No English at all. Children can figure out what is being said, just as they do when they learn English.

Most important, your child will have an association. He or she will associate, for example, that Maria-the-babysitter speaks only Spanish or that Grandma speaks only Portuguese. Language association helps children begin to think in a different language and helps prevent them from confusing languages and helps them learn to speak conversational Spanish.

Babysitters and Restauranteurs Can Help

When my children were young, I regularly arranged to have babysitters spend time with my kids,sourced from the international au pairs working in our area, that had a few free hours a week. You might try calling local schools and universities to find language teachers or foreign students, that may be interested in helping you. If they are unavailable, they may know someone who is.

If there is a foreign population in your area, try to make some contacts, perhaps through religious or cultural organizations and clubs. I have even phoned restaurants and radio stations in my networking. Most people are happy to help out.

You might also be able to create your own language playgroups with friends and share the cost of your language helper.

How Much Time?

How much time should your language helper spend with your children? The more time spent the better, but try for a minimum of once a week. You can be present during the play session. Make it clear to your language helpers that their role is not to be a teacher who presents a lesson. Their job is simply to play with and engage your child, or the playgroup, while speaking the focus language.

The more your child hears and interacts, the more he or she will learn conversational Spanish. However, be aware of your child's reaction and do not force anything. Make sure your child is engaged and interested, by using a variety of fun activities.

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