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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow
Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.
Parents often ask us when the best time is to start bilingual education. Research suggests the earlier, the better. That being said, it can feel like a daunting task to plan language enrichment activities for your child. At Encantos, we know that parents are children’s first teachers, so we’re here to help!
For children of any age and proficiency level, it’s important to be exposed to a second language as much and as often as possible. There is no secret formula, no minimum amount of time required to make them fluent. The important things to keep in mind are:
Each family’s time and resources are different. Do the best you can and know that’s enough! If you feel you want to do more, try making small incremental changes that suit your family.
Here are some ideas from a number of developmental and language learning standards to help you find simple ways to expose your pollito to Spanish at any age.
At this age, simple auditory exposure to another language is helpful. It’s as easy as listening! Try playing Spanish music or Spanish language television to your little one. (Our Canticos songs and videos are perfect for this, because they repeat in English and Spanish.)
If you have a Spanish speaker in the household, encourage them to speak to the child in Spanish. Consistency is key, so try to create a ritual, like always playing Spanish language music during playtime or meals. Here are more ideas for fun activities:
At this age, you’ll see the benefits of early exposure, because children will start to speak in Spanish. Keep exposure to Spanish high and try the following activities and suggestions to build their vocabulary and confidence:
At this age, your child will speak in short to extended sentences. You may notice that they will start to mix up English and Spanish words in a sentence, which is normal and totally fine. Again, gentle, immediate feedback will reducerrors over time, but they are nothing to worry about at all – children will naturally learn which languages go together. Below are tips and activities perfect for this age group:
Please don’t forget, our biggest recommendation is to keep things fun! For more recommendations for activities please see our other posts on the Canticos blog!
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.