This Sunday, September 25th, I’ll be making a presentation at the Mexican Consulate’s stand, during the Word On The Street book fair in Toronto. The presentation will be held at 11 am at Stand KSE, close to where Queen’s Park E. intersects Wellesley St. We’ll be giving free download cards to participating kids.
For those who would like more information, here is a synopsis of my presentation with links.
In this world of instant access to everything, where one can have global meetings over skype, in real time, it’s obvious that knowing more than one language is the key to many more opportunities.
My first interest in bilingualism came with my kids’ involvement in the French Immersion programmes in Toronto. I have many strong opinions about second language learning. It is every child’s right to learn a second language. Second language learning should not be only for the elite, or for compliant kids. All kids can learn but many kids learn in different ways.
Here are a few suggestions of resources I have personally tried. The ideas listed here relate to learning Spanish as a second language, but these ideas could be taken and used for the learning of any other second language.
Using Music Resources to Learn
Of course I am biased here. I have spent over 20 years writing and producing songs to teach second languages. You will find many resources to help you on our website. Even the book buyer of Mexico’s largest bookstore chain learned to speak English by using our Bilingual Songs.
We are the North American representatives for Linguascope, the well known online website teaching foreign languages through interactive games. The family of Linguascope websites (for classrooms) is extremely popular. You can find more info about Linguascope here:¬† http://www.linguascope.com/preview/
We also have our developed own online website, EduActive Learning which allows subscribers to have online access to all of our songs, 24 hours a day. You can visit EduActive Learning and sign up for a seven day free trial membership here
Pen Pals (For Youth and Adults)
Teachers may want to access our Pen Pal Forum, where classes exchange letters with classes around the world. Unfortunately, because of online safety, we offer this service only to classroom teachers for their classrooms.
However, for adults, I recommend the free services offered by through the “Tandem Program” set up by Ruhr University in Germany. Participants speak their mother tongue with their partner 50% of the time and the new language that they wish to acquire 50% of the time. I participated in this program myself and found it very useful. You can sign up here
Volunteerism and Travel
When my daughter was in her early teens she participated in a group travelling from Montreal, to do volunteer work in Cuba. Since that time Arocoop√©raAction International has really grown and now offers opportunities for adults as well in Cuba, Costa Rica and Peru.
Learning Spanish in Mexico
Often the best way to learn another language is to totally immerse oneself. I am absolutely in love with this Bed and Breakfast in San Miguel.
Maricela, the hostess,¬† is a fabulous cook. Breakfast and the main meal of the day, la comida, is served to all guests 6 days of the week. During my stays at Maricela’s place, I met many guests on extended stays who were studying Spanish during the daytime.
Although you will be speaking English when you participate in Pueblo Ingl√©s, here is an opportunity to stay in a 5 Star Resort (Spain) for free for an entire week, chatting to Spaniards. During my week, each anglophone was paired with a Spanish teacher being sponsored by the local Board of Education. You can learn more about Pueblo Ingl√©s here: