Learning a foreign language like Spanish online seemed crazy just ten years ago, but not anymore. Just do a Google search for online language classes and you'll find lots of choices. But, not all of them are the best choice for homeschoolers or even kids in general. No one knows this better than Micah, the founder of TruFluency Kids!, an online Spanish immersion program. She shares these tips for selecting an online Spanish Class for Kids.
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I always wanted to be able to speak with my Mexican grandparents, so I signed up for every Spanish class that I could as a teen. After eight grueling semesters, I could read Shakespeare but couldn't do what I wanted: speak everyday Spanish to get a job and make friends. So, for the next ten years I went on a quest to figure out language acquisition – as a student, but also as a teacher.
After thousands of hours playing with different methods of learning, I successfully learned Spanish, French and Japanese.
The key to getting fluent is an interactive conversation, which is one hundred percent possible online. Plus, it’s even really fun! Also, since it’s online, you save money and get to take advantage small class sizes. The more time your student has with the teacher, the more progress they make.
In 2010 I started my own Spanish immersion school for kids, so that I could give kids what I couldn’t find as a child: relevant, fun, immersive, conversational classes that progressively increase true fluency, not just knowledge about the academics of language.
What makes a GREAT online Spanish class for kids?
Here are four things to look for if you want a Spanish class that your kids will be excited about, yet is effective in helping them become truly fluent.
1) Engaging Lessons
There's no reason for language classes to be dull. Online Spanish classes should be no different. They should be filled with fast-paced short activities, including pictures, games and songs, along with very energetic teachers that keep kids engaged.
2) Off-screen activities
Class activities don't have to be limited to the screen activities. Children can bring realia (real items to class) like hats, gloves and boots for the winter lessons. We can practice putting them on, saying it’s cold, and telling the class what items we need in the winter.
3) Physical activity
To ensure kids are not sitting all day, the class should include various movement breaks. This could be Simon Says in Spanish, or command games like, “jump!” “turn around” and “stand up”. While we move, we learn Spanish in a fun way that gets us out of our seats a few times during the lesson.
4) Life Application
A Spanish class for kids should mirror real life. We don’t speak to our children in the present tense for the first year of their lives. So an instructor shouldn't do this in class either. To truly immerse the kids, they should be using everyday phrases that help them make real conversations. Instead of starting with 1, 2, 3, we might start with ‘where is mom?’ or ‘who is she?’ to start creating questions and answers from lesson 1. We want the kids to truly be able to use what they’ve learned, and apply it immediately to what they would say on a daily basis.
Which kid's online Spanish program should you choose?
TruFluency Kids Spanish Immersion is a great choice for your kids.
Our teachers and methodology are the heart and soul of the company. All teachers are dedicated professionals to their teaching craft, and they have all been trained in the trademarked Bellieu Method (focusing on questions/answers). All lessons are prepared specifically for each level (beginners, intermediate, dual language, teen Spanish conversation club for 1 – 6 semesters of Spanish). We also take feedback seriously and will make necessary changes to a course (harder questions, easier questions, different activities, etc).
Reliability is also a huge advantage to TruFluency Kids Spanish Immersion program. We know that classes that get canceled due to low enrollment are really frustrating. You want to be able to rely on your Spanish classes and consistently sign up all year long. So that’s why we have a 1-student minimum. Even if there’s one student in the class, we will not cancel.
Language acquisition should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we start our lessons at $12, and we happily offer scholarships as well. Some students can afford 1 class a week, and some can afford 3 classes a week. Whatever your budget, just drop in to a class and practice speaking Spanish. Having a rough month? Take a break and sign up later. Our courses are created so that you can jump in at any time since we speak in themes and not ‘levels’.
Life is busy, and it’s hard to find the time to drive your kids to soccer, swimming, and then karate. That’s another reason why online classes (vs. in-person) make sense. Learn Spanish from the comfort of your own home without the commute. And you can take classes more consistently, multiple times a week because it’s just so convenient. I’ve seen our clients taking Zoom classes in the car, from the beach, and even while traveling. Learning a second language is a big challenge, so attending class should be easy.
We recommend that kids stay in TruFluency classes for 6 years to get a basic strong level of fluency. Classes are always changing to different themes, and we are always learning how to discuss a new topic.
To learn more about TruFluency, CLICK HERE.
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Tell me – what has been your experience with Spanish classes for kids? Have you taken any online? What did you like (or dislike) about them? Comment below.
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