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Espresso

Spanish "immersion" during summer to prepare for immersion school

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My child has a chance to join a Spanish immersion school next year for fourth grade. We homeschooled for a full year two years ago, and also some shorter periods in the past, using both languages (Spanish is my mother tongue), but I kept falling back to English as soon as there was any resistance, and as a result we've lost most of the progress he had made. He's been in an English-only school for the past year. 

 

I owe it to him to do better and prepare him for this opportunity throughout this summer. At the same time, he already feels disheartened because in his mind he's already bilingual, but he's actually nowhere near fluent. He does well with structured learning and measurable outcomes plus fun one-on-one time. We've had great success homeschooling in other areas, and I've been able to break down interesting material to where he's not too frustrated yet feels challenged. I have no idea how to do this with Spanish in a way that'll be conducive to making him feel confident in his Spanish skills yet also get him to the level where he can thrive in immersion classes in three months. 

 

I'd appreciate any help/pointers/resources! Thanks!

 

Edited by Espresso

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I might try to find resources for the summer that he enjoys and are "easy" for him, to remind him what he does know and cement that. Will the other students be coming in with no Spanish, or have they been in the program already?

 

We recently picked up Kids Stuff Spanish which is a book of ready-made phrases like, "Tienes comida en toda la cara." which we use often in our house.

 

El Español con Juegos y Actividades is more school like. Each chapter has a different vocabulary focus and discusses one grammar topic (very briefly) and then has games and fill in the blank for practicing.

 

Laugh 'n Learn Spanish is a collection of For Better or Worse comics in Spanish with some light grammatical discussions for each one.

 

Sapo y Sepo books are translated, familiar stories that I usually read aloud and my students translate on the fly. Geronimo Stilton can also be done this way. If he is more advanced, the Time Warp Trio has also been translated. Not great literature, but high interest and less intimidating because the stories are familiar. Oh, there is a graphic novel version of Caperucita Roja if that appeals.

 

YouTube has a lot of t.v. shows. My kids like Pocoyo and also Asterix y Obelisk.

 

I bet he will pick up what he needs really quickly in the classroom setting.

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Thank you! Kids Stuff Spanish sounds great! 

 

I totally agree about finding things he enjoys and are easy. I suddenly remembered "Super campeones", a soccer cartoon that was super famous during my childhood. It's available on YouTube and I went through the first episode and bookmarked snippets with particular phrases and printed them out. I think we'll start from there and see how far we can get, he does loves soccer. 

 

The other students will have had three years of immersion by the time he joins the classroom. That's my main concern. 

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As a quick app, I would try Duolingo, won't get fluency but can be fun, we are using it to reinforce basics.  My son attends a French Immersion school and will also be in Fourth Grade next year.  Our school does a lot of tutoring and one on one help which is great.  Assuming that immersion schools are similar (ours is about 50/50 French and English and he does history and science etc in French as well as English) the big challenge in 4th grade is instead of "learning to read" a child is "reading to learn". We have already been forewarned that next year will be more challenging for my son as he struggles with reading (in both languages).  Therefore, my recommendation would be to focus on reading in Spanish as much as speaking and listening to it.  IMHO.

 

Good luck! 

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I would figure out what immersion model the school uses and which subjects he will be doing in Spanish. I would try to do as much passive immersion as possible, videos, games, movies, songs, etc. Academically, I second putting an emphasis on reading especially in those content areas. Reading will help him increase vocabulary in the subjects as well as expose him to grammar and sentence structures etc. that he will need to write in Spanish too.

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