It’s true! Ask the thousands of parents and preschool teachers who speak not one word of Spanish (okay, okay – they DO remember “Una cerveza por favor” to get a cold brewski when on vacation in Mexico, Puerto Rico or some such place we hope to find ourselves this summer!!!). The votes are in that children learn with music! Experts agree you should try to teach math, reading, spelling and even second languages to the young ones by incorporating some music into the learning program.
We listened! We continue to listen! And here is this cool bilingual kidsong from our Boca Beth music CD called “My First Songs in Spanish.” If you know my stuff at all – have ever heard me deliver my energetic, prize-winning, fun workshop on how to bring Spanish and English together for the young child age birth – eight – then you know most of my songs are sung to traditional children’s tunes … why? Because most research suggests that if you provide the child (and the parent who really wishes they were more bilingual!!!!) the comfort level of knowing the beat, the melody of the new bilingual song then the words will come more easily to them.
Preschoolers learn Spanish with our cool Boca Beth bilingual beats, babies are soothed by my voice (I have heard tales of 3 am feedings with Boca Beth as the background music!) and teens declare they learn more with a 30-minute Boca Beth class that they were dragged to with their younger sibling than they learned in an entire semester of Spanish One/Uno!
So, here it is – and here are some cool ‘bring the Spanish to life’ tips from our bilingual classrooms … full of bilingual babies, todders and preschoolers (not to mention the elementary class of first graders who each year learns 11 Boca Beth songs for multi-cultural night and the teen who gets my CD as a birthday gift to aid them with loving to learn Spanish!)!!!
“I See Colors/Veo colores” (song #4 from BOCA BETH’S ‘My First Songs in Spanish’ music CD)
(sung to the beat of “The Mulberry Bush”)
I see the color red right here,
red right here, red right here!
I see the color red right here!
In Spanish red is rojo!
Veo el color rojo aqui,
Rojo aqui, rojo aqui.
Veo el color rojo aqui,
En inglés rojo es red.
I see the color blue right here,
blue right here, blue right here!
I see the color blue right here!
In Spanish blue is azul!
Veo el color azul aqui,
Azul aqui, azul aqui.
Veo el color azul aqui,
En inglés azul es blue.
(continue with the following colors in the same pattern of song as above – the color green/verde… yellow/amarillo… white/blanco… black/negro… brown/café…)
Suggested circle time activities to do along with this fun song as you teach/introduce Spanish to your child(ren):
- Use visual aides that show the seven (7) colors. I have found really nice ones that have an animal associated with the color. This makes the song even more interesting if you can match the color with the animal name and elaborate on it a little more during the music. Allow the children to hold the props as they say the color word correctly in both Spanish and English without shouting (guide them in saying “Please, don’t shout/Por favor, no grita”). The children begin to get competitive during this song in order to be one of the chosen ones to hold a prop, but if you stick to your rule of no shouting – they will catch on that you mean it and will stop the unnecessary noise.
- Another cute thing to do with this song is to buy some small color links that the children build a small color link as the song progresses. You will only be able to go through to white (no black or brown color links last time I checked!). It’s just another fun way to teach the second language with hands on manipulatives.
- Also on our bocabeth.com web site are free bilingual resources for using with young children as you introduce Spanish and English together in a true bilingual presentation. Look for our color language cards – out of the 70 cards that I share on our web site for free downloads there are some color cards available. The members of our Boca Beth Educator’s Club end up getting extra cards each month as part of their membership so they tend to end up with fuller sets of cool language cards than the regular newsletter subscriber.
- Another cool idea that my sister -who used to teach first and second grade and used Boca Beth songs each year with her students - was to have the children sit at their desks. She would ask them to pick out the most prominent color on their clothing and shoes from the seven colors sung about on our Boca Beth ’I See Colors/Veo colores’ song. When the song sang about that particular color then they stood up during that part of the song and would sit back down when the next color began. If they did not have one of the colors on at all on any visible article of clothing then they were given a prop to hold that had a color in it from the song and would stand up showing the prop with that color.
That is the key, isn’t it with little children?!?!?! Make the learning fun, and they don’t even realize they are learning. That’s why those middle school and high school Spanish teachers who try to be a bit unorthodox in their methods of second language learning with the older students will incorporate music, games and fun into their curriculum (and they swear by it!!!).
Happy Educating! ¡Sea feliz educando!