Thursday, January 9, 2014

Becoming Bilingual

grew up bilingual learning Spanish in a primarily Spanish-speaking household. In college I traveled throughout most of Central America and that's when I truly realized the value of bilingualism. I was proud to speak Spanish and English. I soon understood that knowing both languages opened cultural doors and gave me an advantage, professionally. My husband and I hoped to raise our children to be bilingual, too. Though honestly, we've dropped the ball by not speaking nearly enough Spanish around our kiddos. At 7, our oldest son knew a handful of Spanish words and we saw that he was excited to actually speak another language. 

So this year we decided to make learning Spanish one of my son's goals and a priority for all of us. The Duolingo app. available on cellphones (and tablets) has made this goal not only doable, but fun. My son spends 15-20 mins. on this app Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In a few short weeks his comprehension of the Spanish language has advanced so much. He's reading it better than ever and sounding out words he once would never attempt to read. Just the other day he read a Spanish language Christmas card and did so confidently and accurately.

On this free app (yes free!), anyone can learn a new language (French, Spanish, Italian or German). The lessons progress well from one concept to the next and each builds upon the previous which is helpful. Duolingo incorporates writing, reading, speaking and listening into each lesson. Plus, it's great for kids and adults. I've enjoyed watching my son learn Spanish, and more importantly, Duolingo has also given me the tools to assist in teaching Spanish! 

If you've ever wanted to learn another language, go for it and try this app. 

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