A Dozen Activities for Promoting
the Use of Spanish Outside of School

The ACIE Newsletter, November 1997, Vol. 1, No. 1

Submitted by David Downs-Reid, Instructional Assistant Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion, Robbinsdale, MN
Adapted from a list compiled by Laura Pezan, 1st grade teacher at Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion, Robbinsdale, MN



1) Check out books and audiotapes at your local public library or invest in books/audiotapes that are written in Spanish. (Books are available at Barnes & Noble, through Scholastic and Troll book orders, book fairs at school, and other sources.)

2) Designate a time for daily family reading and/or silent reading. Encourage your child to read something in Spanish as well as English.

3) Invite a classmate/schoolmate over to have a special "Spanish evening" or "Spanish night over."

4) Let your child call a student from the immersion school to speak Spanish on the phone.

5) Host a teacher's assistant (T.A.) from Mexico or be an "Aunt and Uncle" family and invite a T.A. over for dinner or a party, or include a T.A. in a family outing.

6) Give your child the necessary supplies to write letters to Spanish-speaking families and/or friends from school. Get on the "super highway" by using the Internet to speak with others who can communicate in Spanish - parent supervision is advised.

7) Use your child's Spanish writing skills to write to the embassies or offices of tourism of Spanish-speaking countries. Request information, pamphlets, posters, postcards, booklets about the country. Use the information to make your own travel guide, mural, poster, etc.

8) Visit a Latino market in your community. Cheer your child on as s/he helps you purchase your food in Spanish.

9) Talk about the reasons why you want your child to learn another language and ask your child why s/he thinks it is important to know a second language.

10) Recognize, praise and encourage any efforts your child makes to speak Spanish. Often, just the vocalization of our pride in his or her efforts can make the difference.

11) Review the songs and poems that your child sings and recites at school. Your child can sing the song or recite the poem alone by memory, then ask him or her to teach you a song or poem. Let your child be the singing entertainment on your next road trip!

12) Purchase children's videos, music and software programs in Spanish. Call the company "Niños" at 1-800-634-3304 for a catalog. Blockbuster video stores will order Disney videos in Spanish for purchase upon request.


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