I started teaching Spanish ten years ago and it has been ever since an exciting journey of sharing my native language and my culture with children and adults around the world.
Everything began when I decided to get a Masters Degree in Linguistics and Foreign Languages. My passion for the Hispanic culture found its way to shine when I learned about the different ways to teach my mother tongue in a fun and effective way.
Hands-on language learning
Are you looking for effective but fun ways to teach Spanish to your students? Do you wish to support your children in their process to acquire a foreign language? You could never be wrong with games. Both children and adults enjoy the good laugh and healthy competition that playing can provide.
”Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” Fred Donaldson
A great deal of research has concluded that play-based learning is genuinely and positively impactful on student learning and development. Language learning while playing allows students to advance the four language skills needed to achieve fluency and take advantage of the many benefits of speaking another language.
On the one hand, we must address language learning in children. Neuroscience presents us with strong evidence for the profound influence of early experiences. In order to build healthy brain connections from the outset, young children need responsive and rich social interactions with caregivers.
Hands-on experiences provide an effective and fun environment to acquire new vocabulary and understand grammar structures. What better way to meaningfully connect with parents and teachers than playing a game?
On the other hand, let’s talk about language learning in grownups. From Business Insider to a recent MIT study, it has been proved that adults learn from interactive activities such as apps, children’s literature, and conversational groups. However, many adult learners feel inadequate or too stressed to be playful in class, unless we, educators, bring something fun to the lesson. Games are the best way, in my opinion, to relax and break the ice.
My Favorite 3 Language Learning Games
There are many games out there of all shapes and sizes. Here I list my absolute favorite ones. Use this list as a guide to develop your own play and learn toolbox. Remember each learner is unique and we must pay close attention to each student’s interest to find the best game to develop his or her language skills.
1. Veo, Veo. This fantastic game to be played in face-to-face or online lessons is an all time favorite of my students. Veo, Veo makes my online classes more fun and interactive, promotes speaking in the target language (Spanish) and keeps little ones busy and entertained.
Check the link below to get your set of Veo, Veo cards to use in your next Spanish lesson. The link will take you to the Autumn version, however, Enjoy Español offers many versions of this fun game. Additionally to the Veo, Veo game, Enjoy Español has a wide variety of activities that teachers could include in their lesson plan. Homeschooling parents these are effective resources to include in your curriculum of a foreign language. https://enjoyespanol.com/halloween-dia-de-muertos-y-todos-los-santos-en-las-clases-de-ele/
2. Guess What! Flying Tiger’s star game is my go-to tool when I want to review vocabulary learnt the previous lesson. It is a fun and effective way to learn adjectives in Spanish with children, teenagers, and grownups. I bought my Guess What! Cards at Flying Tiger Frankfurt. Check your local store to see if they have them available.
3. Linguacious Flashcards. These monolingual (target language only) flashcards are engaging and fun. I have the Around the Home set in Spanish and it has been a great addition to my teacher’s toolbox. They are a colorful way to learn vocabulary in Spanish while having fun with children and adults alike.
Linguacious flashcards are made of a sturdy but flexible material what I think it is important when working with children, because learning cards and games need to be durable. Do you want to hear something great? The Linguacious Flashcards come with a code that you can use on the Linguacious App to listen to the audio pronunciation of each word.
Conveniently, Linguacious flashcards and books are available in over 27 languages (and growing!) and they have won over 5 different awards. Check their website to discover games for both the flashcards and the books.
You can also check out Linguacious on YouTube for extra info and ideas.
Aren’t you looking forward to learning Spanish with these great tools?
I assure you that your children and students will enjoy this hands-on approach to language learning. Fun, effective, and authentic!
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the Linguacious Flashcards for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. I don’t receive money for click on links or product purchases.