Friday, June 13, 2008
With the summer months around the corner, students are looking forward to spending endless hours at the beach, park, pool, etc. The last thing on anyone's mind is doing school work. But as a teacher, I'd like to highlight that students have a responsibility during the summer: to maintain the brain active!!! (and I don't mean playing video games)
Clearly, without practice of the language during the summer months, the retention level may suffer. In addition, a noteworthy factor in language retention is parental encouragement, and above all, motivation for learning Spanish. As Robert C. Gardner, from the University of Western Ontario, has pointed in his research on language acquisition, "...attitudes and motivation are positively related to the tendency to persue language study, (and maintain the brain actively engaged)..." (Bilingualism, Multiculturalism, and Second Language Learning)
Here are some of my favorite ways to retain the language learning this summer:
* LANGUAGE CAMPS(throughout the USA and abroad)- Every year, I organize trips to Camp Valle Verde in Mexico and I highly recommend its programmes, activities, location, and caring monitors, and beautiful campus. http://www.valleverde.com.mx/
* SPORTS CAMPS with focus on language learning- I particularly like EduKick, a residential soccer camp for students as young as 8 years old.
* PRIVATE CLASSES/TUTOR
* INTERNET SITES- See links for children on this site for an inexpensive practice of the Spanish language
* READING BOOKS/MAGAZINES- there's an array of literature for all levels in Spanish. (see resources for parents/teachers)
I hope these ideas may help you in motivating your child(ren) to maintain the language focus. With this in mind, I wish everyone "felices vacaciones"!