Teaching Multiple Children Spanish with FabuLingua
Maybe you can tell from my last name that I am Latina. My father immigrated here from Ecuador when he was a child. As a child, I was told how important it was to learn Spanish. Since I didn’t live or spend a tremendous amount of time with my father who spoke Spanish, it was tough for me to pick it up. I was also incredibly stubborn, didn’t see the importance of knowing Spanish as a child. As I grew up, I realized how important it was and wished I was able to learn Spanish fluently. I tried to learn it in high school and managed to pick up some of it, but I am far from fluent.
When I became a parent, I knew that it was essential to have my children learn a second language—finding a fun, interactive way to teach Spanish to both of my children ten years old and six years old has been simple with Fabulingua. Listening to a growing series of beautifully illustrated stories with my children while we all learn to speak Spanish together.
*Disclaimer, this post is sponsored by Fabulingua, I was compensated for my time, all opinions are 100% my own honest opinions and I wasn’t required to post a positive review. You can read my full disclosure here. This post does contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I will receive a commission with no extra cost to you, thank you for your support. *
Why Learn a Foreign Language?
It didn’t need to be Spanish, but I believed it was important for my children to learn a foreign language. While most of us can agree that language learning is beneficial in both tangible and intangible ways. In today’s increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, being proficient in another language is a vital skill that gives you the opportunity to engage with the world in a more immediate and meaningful way.
Ten Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language are:
- Connect. As humans, we thrive on connecting with others. Being able to communicate with someone in his or her own language is an amazing gift. Bilingual individuals have the unique opportunity to communicate with a wider range of people in both their personal and professional lives.
- Career Advancement. Language skills can be a significant advantage that sets you apart from your peers. No matter what the career, the demand for bilingual professionals is growing.
- Brain Benefits. There are brain benefits of learning languages, people who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask and better listening skills.
- Cultural Connections. Language is the most direct connection to other cultures, therefore being able to communicate in another language exposes us to and offers an appreciation for the traditions, religions, arts, and history of the people associated with that language. Creating more cultural understanding and positive attitudes toward the culture associated with the language.
- Access to the World. Traveling as a person who can speak the language can transform a trip abroad, altering you from a tourist to someone who can fit in with the locales. As well as it can open doors to opportunities for studying and working abroad.
- Gain Perspective. Exploring a new language and culture naturally leads us to draw comparisons to what is most familiar. Learning about another culture sheds light on aspects both positive and negative about our own cultures that we may not have previously considered.
- Enhances your first language and aids you in learning more languages. Did you know that learning a second language improves communication skills and multiplies your vocabulary in your first language? Especially among children, because when you learn a new language, you develop new brain networks that are primed and ready when you embark on learning a third or fourth language.
- Access to foreign media and entertainment. Our world is filled with more than 6,000 spoken languages, sometimes things require translation but being able to speak at least one additional language empowers us to access information that may have been otherwise off-limits.
- Grows Your Confidence. Learning, especially learning a foreign language often requires putting yourself out there and moving out of your comfort zone. Creating a sense of accomplishment when conversing with someone in their native language.
- Strengthening Decision Making Skills. When we deliberate in a foreign language, we distance ourselves from our first language and therefore distance ourselves from the emotional responses and biases held from our native language. Creating more systematic and clear-headed decisions based on facts.
Choosing a Spanish Learning App for Kids
I love learning apps, but it isn’t usually my first choice when it comes to choosing a way for my children to learn. We usually go to the laptop before we head on over to my cell phone. However, I knew that having an app on my phone or on the tablets would be the easiest way for all of us to learn Spanish together.
When looking into a Spanish language program, I keep in mind a few essential aspects I need for my children actually to learn from the app:
- It needs to be simple. With two children, a business and a remote part-time job I need the program to be simple enough for my children to be able to do it on their own. While I love to join in and sit with each one while they work through each of their lessons, there is not enough time in the day to sit with each one as they do each thing. Therefore, if they can do this alone then that is a win, for when I am busy.
- It must teach Spanish. There are a ton of fun language programs out there, full of activities or games. But if my children aren’t actually learning to speak, read and understand the language than what is the point?
- There must an element of fun. I don’t know about you but, with everything in the world going on we need some fun thrust into our homeschool. Without the usual outside exploration going on, I needed a way to make learning Spanish to be so engaging they were excited to dive in, each and every day.
Why Choose FabuLingua App for Spanish
FabuLingua is an app specially designed for families who want an effective yet convenient tool to help their children develop skills in a foreign language. Designed for children ages 2 to 10 years, it is age-appropriate, and an immersive and engaging learning app.
Magical Translations is the unique method that FabuLingua uses in their app, it allows children to learn Spanish in a way that subconsciously develops listening, comprehension, pronunciation and reading skills.
Magical Translations allows children to first hear the words in Spanish and then hear them again in English. For example, when your child starts the app, they are asked “¿ Qué quieres hacer?” followed by “What do you want to do?” As they hear the words over and over again in both English and Spanish they are making the connection between those languages in a fun and effortless way.
How to Use FabuLingua
When your children first sign into FabuLingua, they will see a map with several different characters on it. Clicking a character takes them to a pop up menu where they can choose how they want to interact with the story.
What do You Want to Do?
The pop-up menu that appears on the screen, asks “¿ Qué quieres hacer?” What do you want to do?
- Escuchar y tocar (to listen and touch)
- Jugar (to play)
- Grabar el cuento (to record the story)
- Imitar y grabar ( To imitate and record)
- Escuchar en Español (to listen in Spanish)
Escuchar y tocar (to listen and touch)
Each story begins with an animated cover. The narrator reads the title both in Spanish and English. The images are interactive, which allows your children to click on different objects and characters in the picture; they will then hear the narrator say the word or phrase in Spanish and then again in English. They can also click the words to listen to them slowly pronounced. Then, they click on the arrow when they are ready to turn the page.
The words in the story appear at the top of each animated page, and the narrator reads the highlighted section in Spanish and then translates the section to English before going on to the next line. The narrator uses fun voices for each of the characters. You are allowed to click through the images listening to the words in both English and Spanish, helping children to learn vocabulary in a fun and interactive way.
Jugar (to play)
Fabulingua offers two games for each story to help reinforce knowledge such as vocabulary and grammar. Fabulingua’s matching game allows children to drag pictures of the various characters and objects from the stories to the correct words allowing them the learn vocabulary.
The articles game allows children to sort words into feminine or masculine articles el or la, helping them learn grammar.
Grabar el cuento (to record the story)
The narrator’s voice is removed and the child records themselves reading the story, this part of the program is unlocked after your child completes the imitar y grabar, imitate and record portion of the program.
Imitar y grabar ( To imitate and record)
To imitate and record, this part of the program allows the child to go through the story with the narrator reading a few words at a time. The narrator reads the words and then the child records themselves repeating the same words. It is then played back line by line with the narrator’s records and then the child’s so they can compare their pronunciation to that of the narrator. This helps the children feel more comfortable speaking the language.
Although the app doesn’t compare or correct the readers’ pronunciation, being able to hear your voice in contrast to the narrators’ voice helps the child hear if they are pronouncing the words correctly.
Escuchar en Español (to listen in Spanish)
The narrator reads the entire story in Spanish without translating it to English.
Why My Children Love the FabuLingua App
My six-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter love practicing their Spanish with the FabuLingua app for the past few months. They actually ask me to give them the phone so they can work on their Spanish lessons each day. My children love the stories and games but they also love completing each lesson and collecting the sticker rewards that they can arrange and rearrange in their digital sticker books. The stickers consist of the characters and objects from the stories they read. The stories consist of beautiful illustrated detailed watercolor painting, and you can click them and the words, and objects to hear their names, pronunciations or even make the characters perform actions.
Try FabuLingua with Your Children
FabuLingua is currently offering their App for free. Here’s a statement from their website:
“In light of current events, and with many schools closed for the foreseeable future, we at FabuLingua have made the decision to make our app open and completely free to all users, while this is an active situation.”
If you try it and love it, consider sticking around. Their introductory prices are 55% off and your first month is free of charge! Their rates are as low as $2.66/month.