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Oct 20, 2022 -

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Best Villancicos- Spanish Christmas Carols

By Nuria Santamaria Wolfe

‍‘Tis the season for Jingle Bell Rock and Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, but as you tune into your local or digital holiday station, you may also hear the Spanish holiday favorite “Feliz Navidad.”

‘Tis the season for Jingle Bell Rock and Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, but as you tune into your local or digital holiday station, you may also hear the Spanish holiday favorite “Feliz Navidad.” And there are many more ‘villancicos’ or Spanish Christmas carols where that Jose Feliciano song came from, which are the perfect way to advance your child’s bilingual education. Here’s our list of top villancicos for this holiday season.

  1. Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano: Of course! This super catchy and simple bilingual song is a classic.  Feliciano wishes you “Feliz Navidad, Prospero Año y Felicidad” which translates to “Merry Christmas, Prosperous New Year and Happiness”.  We love it “from the bottom, of our heaaaaarts.”
  2. Mi Burrito Sabanero: If you didn’t know it, “Tuki tuki tuki tuki, tuki tuki tuki ta” is the sound a donkey makes on his journey to Bethlehem….AND it’s also the catchy lyrics you’ll be singing after listening to this song.  This Venezuelan villancico is a true classic.  Check out the book here.
  3. Belen, Campanas de Belen: This is one of the most joyous Spanish Christmas songs and translates to “Bethlehem, Bells of Bethlehem.”  Your little angels can sing along to the chorus that evokes the bells of Bethlehem ringing to announce the birth of Jesus.
  4. Noche de paz: Although not originally in Spanish, we love the Spanish version of Silent Night.  Knowing the tune and lyrics in English will make it easier to sing along in a second language.

We invite you to explore the wonderful world of villancicos. You can start with Spanish holiday song stations like Pandora’s Navidad Latina, or find holiday YouTube kids music ¡Feliz Navidad!

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

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What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?