It is a proven fact that exposing children to a foreign language early in their lives is helpful in developing language skills – both in your native language as well as a foreign language. Children retain what they learn at an early age well – they are quite the sponge, soaking in the information. That is one of the reason that I have wanted to expose my kids to foreign language early in life.
Being a one-language household, there are difficulties in doing this. I have tried videos, audio CDs, and online lessons. However, none seem to be effective. My older child is starting to use computer programs to work on language development; however, my younger child is still just seeing videos. There is no practical application of any languages, other than our own native English, in our household. And we all know the best way to learn anything is to use it.
That is why when I was given a copy of Lightning Fast Spanish for Kids and Families by Carolyn Woods to review several months ago, I was eager to give it a try. And we have been very happy with it. We have started integrating her techniques and conversations into our home and have been really loving how it gives us practical application of the Spanish language.
So I was equally excited when I was given the chance to review Carolyn Woods’ new book, the next in her series of Lightning Fast books, called Lightning Fast Spanish For Kids and Families Strikes Again.
Though we had not finished using (and mastering) all the conversations provided in her first book, I’m excited to have more conversations to choose from as we expand Spanish conversations in our household. (You can read my review of her first book here.)
But in case you did not read the first review, the premise of the book is the same as her first book. It is made for Kids and Families to use the language immediately, “even if you don’t speak a word now!” Again, her book contains 15 conversations that can be used in any order you wish, except for conversation #15 which is a comprehensive review of the vocabulary developed throughout the other 14 conversations. Therefore, number 15 should be tackled last. However, the other 14 can be started and utilized in any order.
Ms. Woods provides a good overview of Spanish grammar that is necessary to have a cursory understanding of before starting the book, as well as a good explanation on how the book is set up and the idea behind the conversations she provides. The conversations, or lessons, are numbered in the table of contents so you can easily determine which conversations might be the best for you to begin with.
The conversations cover topics such as “My pet,” “Evening Routine,” “Working around the house,” “Fun outside,” and “Cooking,” to name a few. You simple choose a conversation that would fit into you daily routine, open the chapter and start speaking the language with your family. For instance, we chose “What day is it” to begin with this time. It is something that we have been working on with our toddler as well as a way to remember what day it really is since its summer and the days seem to blend. We copied the conversation and taped it up in the bedroom so my husband and I can refer to it and remember to use it, it is on the wall of our school room too. It helps me remember to use it each day.
What’s great about the conversations is that a basic conversation is set up for you with English questions followed by the Spanish translation and then a phonetic spelling of the Spanish words to help you pronounce the words correctly. The conversation is laid out question by question in an easy to read layout. After the conversation is a list of vocabulary that would be appropriate for the conversation, making it easy to replace words and answers with appropriate words and phrases. Again, the phonetic spelling of the Spanish word is there for easy pronunciation. The conversations are only two to three pages long. (Here’s a picture of the first page.)
The author recommends repetition. She suggests picking one or two conversations to begin with and using is repetitively until you are freely conversing before moving to another conversation. It is surprising how quickly the words become second nature.
In addition, with this next book in the series, the author has included some fun activities and games like scavenger hunts and crossword puzzles. She gives suggestions on vocabulary building games and how to adapt games like Red Light/Green Light and Simon Says to work on vocabulary. I think the game suggestions give a nice addition to the book.
It is great how little time it takes to integrate some very solid foreign language development into our day. I look forward to continuing to use her conversations and build upon them to work on our Spanish language skills. If you are looking for a great way to get started on developing a foreign language in your home, you should give Lightning Fast Spanish for Kids and Families Strikes Again, or her original book, Lighting Fast Spanish For Kids and Families, a try.
She has several languages available in her first book including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian. Her newest book, Lightning Fast Spanish for Kids and Families Strikes Again, is currently available in Spanish and French. The books are easy to read and get through and, though not meant as a college-bound, comprehensive program, gives an excellent overview of the language and get you started conversing in your new language.
Lightning Fast Spanish for Kids and Families Strikes Again Giveaway!!
I’m really excited to have the opportunity to give away one copy of Lightning Fast Spanish for Kids and Families Strikes Again! to one of YOU from Carolyn Woods via Rafflecopter! Below, is an easy to use Rafflecopter giveaway with only one required EASY ENTRY, and then there are several additional ways you can enter if you have the time or inclination. Obviously, the more you enter, the more chances you have to win. You can even do several of the entries each day.
The giveaway starts today and runs until August 5, 2012. It is open to residents of the US and Canada ONLY. I will be choosing a winner randomly via Rafflecopter within 48 hours of the enter of the giveaway. I will contact the winner via email so you may want to add adventuresinhomeschooling (dot) in (at) gmail (dot) com to your email contact list so that the “You’re the winner!” email that will go to the winner won’t get stuck in a SPAM file somewhere. The winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address before a new winner is selected. Good luck and thanks for entering!