Spanish teacher has to unlearn what she knew about teaching older students and discover new ways to teach Spanish to preschoolers
My Long Journey to Learn How to Teach Preschool Spanish
My name is Ana Lomba and I am originally from Madrid, Spain.
I have been teaching preschool Spanish to young children since 1999 when I founded my first Spanish preschool immersion program in Princeton, New Jersey.
Although I am a highly educated teacher and native Spanish speaker, my first steps in teaching Spanish to young kids was a total failure! I’ll tell you why in a moment…
Today I am a Parents’ Choice Award-winning author of several books and resources in Spanish, French and Chinese for young children. I lead workshops nationally for teachers and for parents, and help several language organizations to help promote early language education in the USA.
You can probably tell – I love teaching Spanish preschool. It is so rewarding to see the thrill young children get from learning Spanish!
And I’m passionate about helping other teachers, like you, to get the most out of it too.
Learning Spanish is Easy for Preschoolers!
Preschool is the perfect age to learn language. Young children find it easy to learn languages.
It’s what young kids do naturally. Their brains are wired to do it.
And, with the right kind of help, they LOVE it too!
But Teaching Spanish to Preschoolers is HARD!
Here’s the problem. Most of us who really want to teach Spanish preschool simply don’t have the education and resources we need to help those kids learn to their full potential!
I learned this the hard way…
My first day teaching Spanish to young children was a catastrophe!
My Painful Experience
It should have been easy for me, right? After all…
- I’m a native Spanish speaker
- I had taught Spanish to undergraduates at Binghamton University and at Princeton University for seven years.
- I had advanced degrees in Spanish and Latin American literature.
- I had also taught Spanish in a private Princeton middle school for a year.
- And, I was the mother of two young bilingual kids (three now)!
How Wrong I Was!
My first class was a parent-child group. I had spent two months organizing it, using all my skills, and it was a complete failure.
After a few weeks, I realized I had to abandon that direction, and go back to the drawing board.
I had to admit, my skills were not enough. I knew how to teach older students, but I had no idea how to teach preschool Spanish.
Where Could I Find Out What I Needed?
I set out to learn what I was missing. Surely someone must know the right way to teach Spanish to younger kids!
- I visited local preschools (none of which offered Spanish at that time).
- I subscribed to foreign language and early childhood organizations.
- I attended conferences.
- I participated in language teachers Internet groups.
- And bought tons of resources from catalogs and the Internet.
Many of the things I invested in turned out to be poor translations of American games and other activities – that just didn’t make any sense in Spanish!
Oftentimes, the rhymes didn’t work, these books didn’t bother to change expressions for Spanish equivalents, or even care to use proper spelling and grammar! (This is a problem that continues today.)
My basement is still full of this junk!
Money was not the only thing I wasted. This process also took years of my life.
I don’t want any other teacher to have to go through the same experience.
Creating a New Way to Teach Spanish for Preschoolers
I finally realized that I had to start from scratch and develop my approach based on my class experience and the new information that I was discovering.
You see, languages in this country have been traditionally taught in high school and college. We have a choice of teaching methodologies and text manuals to teach Spanish to older students.
But practically nothing for teaching Spanish effectively to young children.
Although some elements of second-language teaching techniques that work for older students could be used to teach young children, most were unsuitable.
I was at a loss. If I was going to make this work long-term, ensure the preschool kids I was teaching loved learning Spanish, and see the rewards, I needed to start over.
That’s what led me to create my own complete system.
Teaching Spanish With Stories, Songs, and Games
As you know, young children have powerful imaginations. They love stories, plays, songs…
And the best way to teach should always match the way people learn. So my teaching style is theatrical, and based on the way young children learn, which is highly active and sensory.
I was fortunate to know plenty of traditional Spanish games and songs for kids from my own childhood in Spain. I realized I could use some of those with preschool students.
I also created many games and songs from scratch that would target the specific needs of preschool children learning Spanish as a second language.
I also adapted traditional stories and created new ones to be used as skits in my storytelling sessions. I wrote many songs and rhymes to be used with the stories as well.
Putting it all Together – The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide for Teachers
During the years I have published parts and pieces of my system, mainly to help parents and teachers introduce Spanish to their young children by:
- Reading aloud or acting out stories
- Using the fun of technology (see The Little Red Hen/La gallina roja)
- Conversing in Spanish at home
- And singing and playing finger rhymes
All of them are very popular with parents and teachers.
But The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide goes a step further in that it provides a frame for teachers.
If you are a teacher and you are reading this, then chances are that you are in the same boat as I was years ago.
Like myself, you may be wondering how to go past the occasional song, story, or activity and integrate everything in a well thought out plan.
Does this describe you?
- You are sick and tired of those endless Sunday-planning-nights and want to free yourself from them once and for all.
- You want to have a response when people asks you why you are doing what you are doing and not just stare back with a blank gaze.
- You want to see your students learning, not just spending time in your class.
- In summary, you want to feel in control of your instruction – not at its mercy.
If any or all of those lofty goals describe you, then the Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide is for you.
The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide contains practical information about how young children learn languages, tips about what works and doesn’t work with the different ages (from toddlers to early elementary school children), sample activities from my curriculum as well as a 1-hour sample lesson plan.
Watch this video to learn more about the content:
What the Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide Is and Is Not
The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide IS NOT a curriculum – The SFP guide is packed with advice and information based on my years teaching myself as well as helping others teach, but it is not a set of lesson plans. If that is what you are looking for I can help as well, but I would recommend that you get the Spanish for Preschoolers Guide first so that you see if my approach is for you. I’ll tell you more about my curriculum later on.
The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide IS a guide for those of you who are starting to teach young children Spanish and need a quick introduction to hit the ground running.
It is especially ideal for those of you who are planning to open an independent Spanish program, but those of you who teach in regular preschool and early elementary settings will find it useful as well.
The content of the guide is appropriate for teaching children 1 to 10 years old. It is not appropriate for parents’ use because the focus is on classroom instruction.
In my years of involvement with language organizations, I have had the good fortune of meeting many linguists, heads of language programs, state world language administrators, consultants, “Teachers of the Year,” language advocates, and hundreds of language educators. For five years, I went to Congress to advocate for language instruction in schools.
I have presented workshops for Head Start, NABE, TESOL, NAEYC and other organizations that look at the other side of the coin (teaching English). This has further broadened and informed my vision about what teaching young children in more than one language entails.
I have many, many things to share with you; many points that I believe are important to understand before grabbing the pen and attempting to write lesson plans on your own!
How You Can Avoid Making the Same Mistakes I Did
I have done the hard work, so you don’t have to.
The Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide gives you a comprehensive view of my unique approach to immersing your students in Spanish. You can use what you learn to inform your own program, no matter where you decide to go from there.
In specific, you will:
- Learn how to effortlessly immerse your students in Spanish. (Teaching lists of colors, numbers and days of the week in Spanish is not teaching a language!)
- With the techniques I’ll show you, your students will be on their way to acquiring a complete language from day one.
- Discover the different types of activities that young kids enjoy doing most, so they’ll love being in class, absorb information quickly, and learn while having fun.
- Find out how to create, use and expand activities for your preschool Spanish lesson plans. This includes…
- Tips to create activities that will help you move quickly toward meaningful, everyday communication. You don’t need to be a language expert to learn these techniques!
- Practical strategies to integrate literacy into your curriculum. Building strong reading – and writing – skills in Spanish is an important success factor on the way to being truly bilingual.
- How to plan your own thematic units, so that you never again have to worry about what you will do tomorrow in class.
Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide also includes these 2 special BONUSES:
- A sample 60-minute lesson plan from one of my thematic units.
- A template you can use to start creating your own units.
Download the #1 Spanish Preschool E-Guide Now!
Because this product is downloadable you can start reading it within five minutes of purchase, from the comfort of your own home, right from your computer or tablet.
I estimate that I have spent over $20,000 in self-education (workshops, books, etc), and teaching materials during the years I’ve been teaching.
The Only Resource You Really Need to Hit the Ground Running – Guaranteed!
I happily offer you a 30-day guarantee. If you are not entirely satisfied that the Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide gives you the know-how, game-changing information, I’ll send you every penny of your money back straight away!
Get your own copy of the hands-on, information-crammed Spanish for Preschoolers E-Guide, and receive today the tools you need to create an exciting preschool Spanish curriculum!