Tag Archives: Bilingual

A spoonfull of Spanish, helps the tapas go down…peacefully!

We have a lot to celebrate as we finish the school year.

Our gorgeous trophy and certificates!

 

This month at Ole Kids, we joined the other shortlisted local businesses at the

Hammersmith and Fulham Brilliant Business Awards 2012.

 Thanks to all your votes we were shortlisted for ‘Best Supporter of the Community’, ‘Your favourite Business’ and were  

Runner up ‘Best New Business’!

We picked up our trophy and are feeling very proud of ourselves as a team and all the families that are on this Spanish learning journey with us.

 

 

As well as our trophy we are also over the moon about our other news for the month:

                                       Sunday Spanish workshops at Iberica Canary Wharf!

Iberica London is a gorgeous Spanish tapas restaurant that aims to bring the best quality Spanish food to London. Iberica has also recently collected an award by the Real Academia de Gastronomia in Madrid for their  ‘outstanding contribution to Spanish Gastronomy Worldwide’

And now Iberica is ready to offer the families coming for Sunday lunch a bit more than a cultural experience in terms of food, they are also wanting to bring Spanish language and culutre FREE to their children while they eat!

And that is where we come in. Ole kids will be at the beautiful Canary Wharf Restaurant on Sundays from 12 to 3 pm to keep children entertained and learning after they have gobbled up their ‘croquetas’ ‘jamon’ or ‘tortilla española’ (that is usually what our children choose to eat!)

Each week we will have several art activities ready to pay tribute to different Spanish artists. Picasso, Dali, Velazquez, Miro… they will all have their turn and children of all ages are welcome to come and have a go, from colouring in to collage and sculpture we will cover a range of art materials and formats each week.

 When we feel it is suitable we will run our well known classes full of fun and games to introduce children                                         to different vocabulary whilst gently challenging their movement, communication, social and cognitive skills at whatever stage of development they are at.

 There will be plenty of traditional songs and games to learn, story time, puppet stories. A mixture of      reading in Spanish and English so we can cater for bilingual and monolingual children and bring learning for all. The Grufalo in Spanish, a story about Velazquez in English, the three little pigs in both.

 Initially our workshops are open to all and please please please give us as much feedback, support and ideas as you can so we can make it the best possible experience for all. We are really looking forward to the next few weeks and seeing how our project runs, so do come and visit us and enjoy your meal!!

WHERE: IBERICA CANARY WHARF- 12 Cabot Square, E14 4QQ

WHEN: Every Sunday 12.00 to 15.00

(General Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11.30 am to 11.30 pm, Sundays 12.00 to 16.00)

www.ibericalondon.co.uk

Definitely Healthy TV – La televisión saludable

My home-made TV

 

Un  día  de  invierno   frío,  oscuro,   lluvioso  (en  Galicia  son  muy  frecuentes ) en  casa  viendo  por “enésima vez  la película  de “ The  Muppets “

 

Ya aburridas de ver lo mismo  (pero porque ellas quieren ¿eh?) , a Lola , se le ocurre algo: Lola: Ahora  ¡voy a ser YO  la tele !!

Nosotras: ¡Ok!!

Se  sienta delante del televisor, metida entre muchos cojines , asomando solamente medio cuerpo (como  las presentadoras de telediario) , esperando  a que Alejandra y yo utilizásemos el mando a distancia eligiendo lo que queríamos ver.

Yo: Ale, ¿qué quieres  ver? ¿El tiempo?

Ale: sí

Lola   empieza a “actuar”  y dice: “Buenas noches, mañana por  la mañana hará frío y por  la tarde lloverá “

Ale: sube el volumen mamá

Yo: sí, ya subo, ¡clik !!

Lola:  PASADO MAÑANA,  SEGUIRA  HABIENDO  NUBES Y  DESPUES  VIENTO HURACANADO Y BLA BLA BLA …

(  ja ja ja , nos moríamos de risa )

 

Yo: Ale, ¿cambiamos?

Ale: sí. Vemos  la peli de “LosPitufos” Yo: ¡clik !!

Lola  actúa  …

Yo: Ale, ¿la ponemos en otroidioma? Ale: Vale.

Yo: en chino? Ale: sí sííiiiii.

Lola: ( con sonrisa  de oreja a oreja ) wachi wen chin …

Nosotras: ja ja ja jaj aj jaj ajajaja

Yo: Ale, espera, dale a PAUSA , que quiero ir al wc. Lola: (se queda inmóvil, como  una estatua) Nosotras: ja ja ja

Yo: ( Llego del wc ) y clik !!

Lola:    king xi chin … Muy gracioso !!!

Spanish-English bilingual in England. To be or not to be is not the question! How to be it? Is.

Having lived in London for over 17 years it has always amazed me when I come across people whose parents or grandparents are from a different country and they don’t speak anything other than English. Often they say ‘I understand it but I can’t speak it’. I always thought their parents did something wrong! Now that I have children of my own I realise that it is easier than I thought to just let a language go, especially when parents have different first languages to each other and to the local community.

It has to become a really conscious effort in a list of ‘things to do’ that grows every time you look at it. Families in London are already stretched to fit work, activities, play dates, homework, dinner, bath, a fight or two, some t.v. and making space for that elusive ‘quality time’ together. If then you have to add to that people speaking to each other in different languages, it can get difficult!

In our house we are all Spanish and we speak Spanish all the time (supposedly the home language vs community language method) unless there are people around who don’t speak Spanish, we watch T.V. mainly in English, half the books we read to the children are English and half Spanish and the same with games and songs, so we ‘generally’ speak Spanish.

When my children were born I worried they would not be bilingual and therefore would be cut off from a big part of who they are, of understanding who their parents are, cut off from a huge, fun, warm family and having a relationship with their three great grandmothers who are still alive!

If i didn’t help them with Spanish growing up in London, they could be missing out on the ability to communicate with another 500 million people worldwide who speak the language, reading ‘El Quijote’ in its original language, watching ‘como agua para chocolate’ how it was filmed or travelling around 21 countries learning the most they can from different cultures whilst using their native language and feeling like at home.

So my main worry was reading and writing rather than speaking. I would have to teach them myself. And from that motivation Ole Kids was born.

I am really grateful for all the wonderful friends my children and I have made in the past two years through Ole Kids. My children definitely have a better chance of using both languages equally since they now have a strong incentive to do so being part of a spanish speaking community. Research shows it  is often children who chose to give up a language because they don’t have a community to speak it in. www.sociolinguistica.uvigo.es

It is a real privilege to create that space for my children but also for all the other families in London who are interested in Spanish and the cultures that come along with it.

We have seen so many children grow and start using the language through just one hour of class a week that we have surprised ourselves in how effective it is!

So look out for us! Join us! Let’s make that sunny space around us and open a world of opportunity for our children!

Effective ways to read to our children

We’ve all heard it a million times: Read to your children, it helps develop pre-reading skills.It’s your duty and obligation as a parent.

Okay, so maybe that last one is a bit strong but don’t we have a responsibility as parents to help our children? The point is that those who tell us to read to our children usually have very good reasons for telling us to do so.

Researches confirm that the benefits of reading aloud continue into elementary school: “Listening to stories read aloud by the teacher is one effective way for students to enrich vocabulary.”

According to the Reading is Fundamental campaign(1), every time we read aloud to our children, we are stimulating their imagination.

The Multilingual Children’s Association(2)confirms that “frequent book reading leads to more advanced language skills.” It is not just the type of books, the level, or even the language in which they are written that matters. Literacy is a result of frequency; the old “practice makes perfect” .

If your child is consistently intrigued by the traditions associated with the Spanish language, he or she will be more apt to read about them. Encourage an interest in your native culture buying books in Spanish or borrow them from a local library.

Here are some ideas that the experts recommed to make the most of this reading time and also help to build our child’s literacy skills while keeping it fun: (3)

Make reading a part of every day: Try to read to your child for at least 15 minutes each day. Bedtime is an especially good time to read together.

Hold your child while you read: Sit with your child on your lap as you read. Let him or her hold the book and help turn the pages.

Read with fun in your voice:Use your face, body, and voice to make reading fun. Use different voices for different characters.

Know when to stop: If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. A few minutes of reading is ok. Don’t continue reading if your child is not enjoying it. With practice, your child will be able to sit and listen for a longer time.

Talk about the pictures: Point to the pages and talk about the pictures in the book. Ask your child to look at the pictures for clues to what the story is about.

Show your child the words: As you read the book, run your finger along the bottom of the words. Soon your child will realize it is the words that are read and not the pictures. If you’re reading a book in Spanish, feel free to let your child know the English version of a word. Say something like “Perro is called dog in English.”

We are sure there are plenty more ideas on how to read to our children and we would love to hear about them so do please please feel free to leave us a comment!!

(1) http://www.rif.org/ (2)http://www.multilingualchildren.org/(3)Source: colorin colorado

The wonders of being multilingual

Current research leads to the belief that speaking two or more languages can add to the cognitive flexibility of the child.

The different connotations and ideas around a word in the different languages allows the child to build a more complex understanding of the world at a younger age.

Although it is never  too late to learn a language, learning  at the early ages is ideal because so much development takes place during these years.

Olé Kids classes encourage all aspects of child development through stories, matching games, movement, arts and crafts, singing and signing and exploring materials and topics.

The choice of mixing children from the ages of 6 months to 4 years old is not an accidental choice but rather an intentional one,  as we believe that in a group lesson the younger ones are encouraged to learn by observing the ability of older children and makes them more confident to speak in public.

If you’re a Spanish speaker you and your child will meet other Spanish speakers and if you’re interested in learning another language with your little one, Spanish is a great choice.

  • Spanish is the official language in 23 countries worldwide
  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers
  • Learning a second language at an early age may benefit problem-solving skills and general mental development