Tools to learn Spanish
November 21, 2009 6:42 PM   Subscribe

What tools can I use to help my family (adults and children) learn to speak Spanish? I am interested in CDs, software, music, TV shows,kid-friendly immersion programs, and anything else.

This recent question has inspired me to try to learn Spanish with my family. It is something I have been meaning to do myself to further my career, and I would like my kids to be proficient in another language as well. It will also be a fun and intellectual activity that the family can do together. We will most likely never approach native-level fluency, but I would like the adults to be proficient and the kids to be proficient or better.

In my house, we have:
1 adult with proficient Italian
1 adult with high school courses in Spanish, could get by in basic conversation
1 adult (grandmother) who used to be fluent in French
1 toddler
1 baby whose daycare providers speak Spanish to him

We have several family friends who are native Spanish speakers as well, so I know we will be able to expose the kids to native Spanish.

What tools would you recomend? I'm thinking language learning CDs for the adults, childrens tv shows for everyone, simple spanish music, software, movies, etc.
posted by Nickel to Education (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My son's using Rosetta Stone to augment his French class at college. He gave him a real good head start apparently.
posted by Doohickie at 7:46 PM on November 21, 2009

Livemocha is a pretty good start for adult learners. There is also Destinos.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:56 PM on November 21, 2009

I'm a Spanish speaker, by the way, but I'm currently learning Hebrew using a combination of Pimsleur and Livemocha. I'm supplementing that with music, and I've started off with Disney songs. The melodies are already familiar, and it helps the language to flow to sing along. I don't understand even half the lyrics right now, but it really does help. Lots of these are on Youtube in many languages.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:00 PM on November 21, 2009

I think your children are too young for this, but why not go to a Spanish speaking country for 2 o 3 weeks to learn?

I've been learning French pretty unsuccessfully since high school, but spent 4 weeks in Xela (Quetzeltenango), Guatemala living with a family and taking spanish lessons every day for about 4 weeks and I became almost fluent in Spanish (though I am now, several years later, horrendously out of practice). You and your family could live with a family for a few weeks and learn Spanish, though like I said, maybe the kids are a little young for that.

The name of the Spanish school that I did this with was Celas Maya and at the time (2001) it cost me $100 a week for homestay with all my meals paid for and 4 hours of spanish class each day. xelapages has links to all the Spanish Schools that offer homestays.

Good luck/buena suerte!
posted by pick_the_flowers at 1:29 AM on November 22, 2009

¡Pocoyó on youtube! Wiki here:
posted by oceano at 12:54 PM on November 22, 2009

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