Please note: this is a Guest Post I wrote.
So as I’ve mentioned here a few times, we are raising a bilingual baby. Right now, there are a couple words Maya is preferring to say in Spanish — her new favorites being “pan” (for “bread” and “pollo” (“for chicken”). We’re working on “vamanos!” for let’s go (she is like Dora, except blond and blue-eyed).
Thanksgiving week (11/19) we leave for a week-long trip to El Salvador to visit Luis’s family and to celebrate his mom’s 75th birthday. I’m mostly geeked to see family and friends and hit the beach, but I’m also looking forward to my Spanish coming back.
It’s so true: speaking a foreign language is hard when you don’t do it 24/7. And, like a muscle, it atrophies without use. While Luis speaks to Maya in Spanish as much as he can and we read to her in Spanish and she watches some Spanish Elmo/Sesame Street … it’s not enough to get my skills up to par.
Fortunately, whenever I go there, my Spanish always improves, and so we’re hoping Maya will pick up some more Spanish down there, as well. Last time we went, she was only 7 months old and could only say “dadadada” … so this will be quite the adventure.
Language skills can be improved in a myriad of ways. Aside from traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, chatting with a native, following a Rosetta Stone curriculum, reading Spanish books or watching Spanish TV, and singing Spanish songs can help.
Which brings me to today’s post.
I love Words with Friends and was recently introduced to Binguez, an online game site where you can play a variety of games — including BINGO — in English or Spanish. (But for British readers, you should check out another great online bingo site: http://www.foxybingo.com/ ). Though Maya is too young to play games in either language just yet, it’s great to know interactive games like these exist for when she is a little older … and might even help me! We’ll likely be playing these at the airport next week.
Though I’m sad to miss Thanksgiving here, I’m really looking forward to this trip … just a few days away. Vamanos!
How about you? What tools do you use to enhance your language skills?