I totally agree with Amy's comments. We have had a couple of times that we found ml speakers in our city and my children got something out of it (for example an ml speaking cashier in a supermarket that gave my children stickers when she heard them speaking Spanish). I always made a point how lucky that they speak Spanish and through that we had those experiences.
Yes, unfortunately I also have to back up Raquel's feedback, at least from Spain there are very few children's movies.
To the series mentioned by Marisa I would add "David el gnomo". I loved it as a child and my children also enjoyed it. And there is also one about Sandokan that my son has watched and enjoyed. Both can be found on Marisa's link.
There was also a series about Don Quijote called Don Quijote de la Mancha from the Spanish Public Television (RTVE). And another one of the chilhood of "El Cid", called "Ruy el pequeño cid". Somehow neither of them made an impression on me as a child so I have not watched them again with my kids.
There is also a film about the Spanish figure of El Cid, called also "El Cid la leyenda". I watched it and I didn't like it so much, but my son enjoyed it. And there is also one about The 3 wise men, "Los 3 Reyes Magos" (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Reyes_Magos). It is also not of Disney quality, but my children liked it. They both might have scary parts for a 4 year old, depending how sensitive your daughter is.
raquel the schoolbackpack is a big thing in Germany. And they are veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery expensive!! And the year before starting school (here school starts at 6, what would be "primaria" in Spain) it is a big thing when you go to buy the schoolbag, once bought the children take it to the kindergarten to show it to their friends and teachers there. My daughter last year was taking it everywhere to show it to everyone, so proud was she of finally owning one.
I think kids are interested in how school is in other countries, school is anyway a big part of their life and I think they find it interesting to know how it is for kids in other countries. My son was very curious when your daughter wrote about how long summer school vacation is in France.
Something else I thought that could be interesting for your daughter since you wrote she likes cats are the "Warrior Cats" book series, they are quite popular in my son's class. He read last year the first three volumes (in the ml, since they are translated ) and then lost interest in them but I know other kids that are continuing with the series, both boys and girls.
I also think it's a great topic. I was driving this week with my older son and some of his friends to a trial lesson in higher school (since they are in 4th grade and will be finishing elementary school this year and have to decide where to go next) and I was telling them about how the Spanish school system is, compared to the German. They were all very interested and asked questions. They were interested for example in how different is the grading system (in Spain it's from 0 to 10, compared to the 1 to 6 in Germany), the vacations, when does the school start and finish, the different subjects you have, how many years you have elementary school and so on.
I would also love to see videos of the other zoo keepers too. And Adam if you go to Paris then we are only 2 hours and a half away by train.
raquel , I woud also have liked that the children would have been interviewed too. But how far they would have wanted to cooperate I don't know. The TV team was really nice. We had some behind the camera interactions, where they were for example playing guitar with my son, or telling them stuff about their own families that my children enjoyed a lot.
Mayken , basically I talk about how my experience first as an Erasmus student and then working in Germany was. And how I met my husband. I also think the youngest member of our family looks very cute in the video.
Yes, my oldest has enjoyed Percy Jackson (and he likes better the Magnus Chase saga from the same author, although I think Percy Jackson is more appropriate for his age), but we have done both sagas as read-alouds. His independent reading has been mostly "motivated" by myself rather than self-driven. But some weeks ago he read a couple of books in Spanish on his own and then he had his "home run book" which he has devoured in one week, unfortunately in the ML (and not translated to the ml so far) with the first volume of the Animox series (Simon Thorn series in English). It was like Mayken said, "peer pressure". The books were popular among his friends and he wanted to read them too. He asked for the first title for his birthday and read it non-stop. He told me "Now I understand why some people can't put down a book".
With my daughter for a long time I could not get her interested in longer stories (for read alouds, she cannot read yet on her own). Then while reading Wonder to her brother, she would always come to listen and then ask questions afterwards. And then I thought I would try to read to her what I and her brother enjoy, which are fantasy stories, but she was more interested in non-fantasy fiction. I then tried The 5 Friends by Enid Blyton and that was her home run in read alouds.
So I guess if a child is not interested in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, as fantasy stories, you could try other type of books.
I didn't mean making the child repeat the word, but that I myself would repeat it but in the ml and then continue the conversation from there. Sometimes they do say the ML word because it comes to their mind faster than the ml word if for example they are talking about something they experienced in school in the ML. What I do then is just continue the conversation with the ml word and they usually pick it up and use it also from there onwards.
I also think having your wife talk to your daughter in English is a good idea.
In our case we started with OPOL (my husband is German, I am Spanish, we live in Germany) but at some point Spanish became our "family language" so that's what we speak when we are all together. My husband is not very consistent and when he is alone with the children he speaks sometimes Spanish sometimes German to them.
He speaks very good Spanish but he is of course not native and makes now and then mistakes a native speaker would not make, and then my children do correct him. So I would not worry about your wife making now and then mistakes.
In my case my children do know I speak German but do very rarely speak in German to me, usually only my daughter does it and it is when she has German friends around. With my older son I can notice how weird it feels for him to talk in German to me. Unlike my daughter he always talks Spanish to me and if he has for example some friend over and I ask something in German so that his friend also understands he replies in Spanish. If he is ever forced by the situation to talk German with me I can see he is not comfortable at all doing it.
What I did when they were younger and would say something in German to me would be to repeat it in Spanish and make sure they knew the words for what they wanted to say. Usually it worked and they would switch.
There is a podcast called Bilingual Avenue that just released some episodes on creating the need for children to talk in the ml. You could listen to it for more inspiration.
Amy, I love that you enjoy Los 10 Cerditos. My daughter likes it a lot and it's a great way to learn addition and subtraction. We were playing this morning during breakfast Times Up Junior, each of us could do two cards, one with words, one with mimic and it was a lot of fun. And it was all my 3-year-old's idea, because he brought the game to the table and wanted to play it. Games are such a fun way of learning.
I have no news about the TV program, I will let everyone know as soon as I have (after I preview how I look like).
I am indeed listening to a lot of podcasts in Spanish right now, I discovered this Ficcion Sonora podcast by Radio Nacional Espana and I'm listening to the episodes first by myself to see if they are appropriate for my oldest. Most of them I find he is still too young, but then I get hooked on the story and listen to them myself when I am driving alone. I do have some Spanish CDs in the car, but my youngest one complains if I play them and wants to have 'his music' or 'his fairy tales'. Maybe I should become stricter and have sometimes my stuff. I wanted to download more songs of Petit Pop, I think they make very nice children's music and my children love them. If you don't know them listen to some of their songs (some favourites at our home are "Senderismo", "Cumpleanos irlandes", "Skapa"). I also like that they come from Spain so I can relate to a lot of the 'culture' behind the songs. At our home I don't like so much to have background sounds, my three kids are already loud enough.
And another month has gone by. I have not done as much in October as I would have liked to, but we were two weeks in the ml country, which is of course always the best way of improving the ml.
Read-aloud With C. we finished the second Magnus Chase book and are now reading "El día en que Goliat venció a David". With A. we finished the Five Friends book and read one of my favourite Spanish read alouds "La alucinante historia de Juanito Tot y Veronica Flut. Now we are back to another of The Five Friends series. With D. Ben el valiente is still going strong.
Captive Reading The notes on the breakfast boxes have become routine for me so I never skip them. My son reminded me today that I have not updated the text on the bathroom since we came back from our vacation (one week already!). I will see that I print some texts and update it today. I did the new word on the door until our vacation, but have not done it since then. I will see that I do that today too. I want to post more things around the house for my daughter since she is now learning to read.
Promote independent reading My son did this on his own, he picked a book that my aunt gave him some time ago and started reading it while I was reading to his sister (seems he is no longer interested in The Five Friends ). He finished it, and since it is a series I got two more while in Spain. He already started one of them.
Poetry This is also becoming a routine and I read poetry during breakfast almost every day. I am also doing an online course about introducing poetry to children and I am getting lots of ideas and inspirations that I hope to implement.
Music and Audio Not much progress here, somehow I have not been able to download new material.
Homework Also no progress here. I find it hard to find the time in our hectic daily life. I have to brainstorm a little how could I set this up.
Mayken, in my son's school they always do a math advent calender: www.mathe-kaenguru.de/advent/, and there is a version for the 1st-2nd grade and one for 3rd-4th grade. You can take a look and if you think it is something your daughter could enjoy you can print it, there are versions from several years available at this webpage.
Yesterday we were on a Harry Potter Quiz Night organized by a friend, my son loved it, and I thought of your daughter. The friend organizing it used an App where there are already tons of quizzes about many different themes (and of course a lot of Harry Potter ones). The App is called Kahoot!, one you download on your mobile you can search for the theme you are interested in and then for the language.
I was thinking, Mayken, maybe one idea would be for her to learn or listen to some song with this "damit" construction in it, so that she internalizes it. I couldn't come with any appropriate German song, but maybe you know one.
Amy, we started with journal writing long before he could write, I think he was around 4. He would just tell me what he wanted to write and I would write it for him. We did not do it every day but just now and then. It is fun to read now the things he wrote then. And for me back then it was also a way to find out more of his daily life, he would tell me things that happened during his day to write in the diary that I did not know.
Now he usually writes after dinner. He does not do it every day but very often (I would say 80% of the days).
With my daughter I have not done it as much. She has a very different personality and is not as interested. But when I do manage to sit down with her to write it (I write since she can't yet write) then it always takes us so looooooooooooooong, since she is very detailed in her narration.
Another fun way to practice writing is to look for pen-pals for your daughter.
I googled it too when they called me, but I didn't find anything either, so I ended up watching "Espanoles por el mundo" that I had heard about but never seen to give me an idea of what it could be like.
Our update for September:
Read-aloud I think this is my strongest point, since it is something both my children and me enjoy. With C. we are currently reading the second volume of the Magnus Chase saga, with A. one of The Five Friends volumes (she loves them) and D. now wants the same book every night (which is kind of boring for me, but I guess it's what he needs). He alternates actually between "Ben el valiente" and "La campeona mundial de mantenerse despierta".
Captive reading The captive reading in the bathroom is a big success with C. He keeps reminding me to post new pages if I ever forget. I found weeble books (https://weeblebooks.com/es) which offers a lot of books to download in pdf for free. I think I will use them for future captive reading in the bathroom.
For the lunch box of C. I am alternating jokes, history facts, and facts related to what he is learning in school. For A. I am just writing the day of the week but I think I will change to a different word every day since she is learning to read. For D. I put an animal sticker and the name of the animal below.
I want to go back to the word of the day idea. I want to pick up an easy word for A. to read, for C. my idea is to read ahead a little of the book we are reading aloud and pick words I think he doesn't know the meaning of. Then I can explain the meaning when he sees the word and he will hear it again when we do our read aloud. Promote independent reading I got a new joke book for C. since he knew the two we already had by heart. I will also try to place books that could attract their interest around the house so that they will hopefully pick them.
Poetry We are now reading poetry at breakfast and I am enjoying it very much. I want to look for a poem for each child to memorize.
Music and Audio The Spanish group Petit Pop is still a big success for our car rides. I want to buy a new CD from them.
I downloaded the audio book of The Wizard of Oz, which both C. and A. enjoyed. I want to look for more audio books appropriate for the two older ones and make a habit of playing one different short story for D. each week.
Homework I want to establish a homework routine for all three children. We started last week, but we were not as consistent as I wished we had been. I will look for fixed times because otherwise we just skip it with all the other stuff we have going on.
Amy: And to all other fellow zookeepers of course!
Nov 4, 2018 18:13:28 GMT 9
Wojtek: Yesterday my daughter used a Polish word in an English sentence. From time to time she does it (don't know if I should be happy about that), but anyway what was amusing about that, she said it with an English accent!
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:45 GMT 9
Wojtek: I feel the English accent in our monolingual family has seemed to be something unreachable but in that mixed sentence, I heard the difference. It surprised me slightly.
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:55 GMT 9
Amy: So cute Wojtek! And such a lovely piece of news!
Nov 7, 2018 6:29:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice Wojtek! Give that little girl a big hug from Uncle Adam!
Nov 7, 2018 10:16:33 GMT 9
Amy: Beautiful pictures Adam! The serenity of the place transpired in every pic. Thank you for sharing them
Nov 11, 2018 21:58:40 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, Amy, she got a lot of ml exposure but there's only so many times I can watch a Bibi & Tina DVD. Glad she's back at school today.
Nov 13, 2018 0:16:03 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's school had the annual lantern pageant yesterday. It always moves me to tears when I see the kids stand and belt out the songs in our ml. This year, the ml kids also recited a short poem on St Martin.
Nov 25, 2018 3:34:49 GMT 9