Mi mundo en palabras is part of the Centro Virtual Cervantes, a site created by the Instituto Cervantes of Spain. It is a wonderful interactive site designed to teach children Spanish. The target audience is seven to nine-year-olds, that is, children who can read and write. However, many of the activities can be used by younger children with the help of an adult.
There are 10 units and each includes a short cartoon video and several activities. The video within each unit is called El mundo de Carlos and each is divided into several short sections. The video presents the structures and vocabulary in context and models pronunciation. To make the most of the site it is best to watch the video before doing the activities. Each unit also has Pasatiempo, a game using the vocabulary and structures, and Taller, a craft activity.
Mochila de palabras is the picture dictionary of the vocabulary in each unit. You can access the dictionary from the unit menu, but also by clicking on the backpack icon on the bottom toolbar. From the toolbar, the glossary is available as you are doing the activities. When you click on the pictures in the dictionary, you hear the pronunciation and see the written word below.
The presentation and the activities are well-conceived and entertaining. This site is an excellent introduction to the language, but also useful for more advanced students as extra listening practice and a review of vocabulary. There is a lot of language presented in these short lessons, so with beginners you may want to do just a little at a time. Also, remember to go back and play again. Repetition is essential!
These are the units that make up Mi mundo en palabras and some of the key concepts they teach. On the menu screen, the flying rocket indicates the order of the units.
1. ¡Hola! Soy Carlos / Hi, I’m Carlos (greetings, age, me gusta + verb to express what you like to do)
2. Esta es mi familia / This is my family (family members, physical descriptions of people, professions)
3. Vamos a jugar a mi casa / Let’s play at my house (toys, furniture, prepositions/position words, vocabulary and phrases for playing a board game)
4. En el cole / At school (days of the week, school subjects, parts of a school, describing personalities)
5. La clase de gimnasia / Gym class (body parts, left and right, sports equipment and clothes, me gusta + verb to talk about sports you like)
6. Mis dibujos / My drawings (nature words, art and school supplies, people and feelings)
7. En el parque / In the park (playground games, outside toys, prepositions, park vocabulary)
8. Un fin de semana especial / A special weekend (places in the community to go for fun like the zoo or the theater, wild animals, adjectives to describe animals, fairytale vocabulary).
9. Excursión a la granja / Trip to the farm (daily routine, farm animals, food)
10. Fiesta de disfraces / Costume party (party vocabulary; characters such as witch, vampire, clown, or pirate; numbers 1-31, months of the year)