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Foreign Language Curriculum: Getting Started.
by Holly Furgason
August 22, 2001

These lessons consists of commands that you will give to your child as
you help them act them out. As you give the commands, you will help your child act out the command giving him comprehension. Please follow these rules to make the lesson effective:

     1. Gather any props you need before the lesson starts! 
Props for each lesson are listed at the top of each lesson. They are generally common household items.

     2. Practice before each lesson! 
If you studied the language in high school then you should be able to pronounce the commands well enough for the lessons. If you have never studied the language (or would like to brush up) find a lesson book that has a pronunciation guide or have a native speaker help you.

     3. Keep lessons short! 
A short lesson everyday that keeps your child's interest is much more effective than a long lesson once or twice a week.

     4. DO NOT use any English! 
Even if your child doesn't "get it" right away, he will eventually. Think about all the times you showed him how to "pet the kitty gently" before he understood the meaning. If your child doesn't understand make sure that your actions are obvious; don't say "Catch!" as you throw the ball.

     5. Say the commands in gentle way! 
"Command" is a harsh word but commands don't have to be harsh. "Give me a hug!" is one example of a command that is loving.

     6. Execute the command every time you say it! 
Even if your child has an understanding of the command it won't hurt but if your child doesn't have an understanding yet it could cause stress which interferes with learning.  Resist the urge to "test" your child. His progress will be made obvious as the lessons progress.

     7. DO NOT require you child to speak! 
Comprehension always exceeds fluency and speaking will eventually be spontaneous. Mixing of the language will be common ("I'm grosser than her!") but this is a common phenomenon among bi-lingual children and just shows that both languages are being assimilated.

     8. Keep lessons novel! 
Be sure to change the sequence of the commands and throw in commands from past lessons. Use different props from time to time (i.e. different sizes
and colors of balls) and change location.

     9. Have fun! 
This is just a fun time to interact with your child and should be thought of as play.

Ready to go?
Click here for Spanish Lesson: Action!

Submitted by: Copyright © Holly Furgason  Holly Furgason is a freelance writer and life long unschooler despite 13 years of government schooling.  She is mom to four wonderful children who have never attended traditional school and wife to Phill, a closet unschooler.  Besides her family, she loves learning, languages, politics, gardening and invitations to speak at homeschool conferences. Send your comments on to the author.
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