I am really excited to share this set of six little story books for Spanish language learners. The set is called Childhood Adventures and includes six Spanish stories and an audio CD with native-speaker narration. These are exactly the kind of materials that teachers and parents need: easy to use in any setting and very effective. There is an English translation at the back of each book.
The vocabulary and structures in these stories are fundamental to childhood experiences and included in every elementary school curriculum: greetings, time, body parts, adjectives, clothes, household items, feelings, numbers, weather, fruit and many common verb forms. The language is used in the context of the story and supported by the illustrations, so children get lots of comprehensible input – the key to really learning language.
This set is a part of the Sing ‘n Speak Spanish curriculum, but you can purchase it separately. The six stories are also available in one 8.5” x 11” spiral bound book with the audio CD.
You can also download the set or individual stories to read on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or your computer. On these devices, the books are “read-along” stories where the text is highlighted as the words are spoken. Click here for the iTunes page for the set; links to the individual stories are in the left margin.
I love these features of the Childhood Adventures stories:
– The stories are interesting, with a conflict and a resolution. The plots are simple, but clever. They really hold a child’s attention.
– These are small books with short sentences, but they have lots of Spanish.
– The stories have patterns and repetition. This aids comprehension and helps children predict what will happen. It also makes the stories fun to read aloud.
– The illustrations correspond exactly to the text. The black-and-white line drawings carefully support the language and have enough detail to make them fun and interesting to children.
–There is an audio CD of the stories. I so appreciate having native-speaker audio available! Parents who are working on their pronunciation can listen with their child before they read the story aloud. Kids can also listen on their own. In a classroom setting, the CD is an excellent way to expose children to another voice.
– The stories have lots of conversational Spanish. In addition to using the target vocabulary naturally, the stories incorporate useful, common phrases like dame, me gusta and qué divertido. Children will naturally learn and transfer these common expressions to other situations.
– The vocabulary and structures use standard Spanish. Where there is significant regional variation in the vocabulary, the Childhood Adventures stories consistently use Mexican Spanish (chícharos, pluma). Even if you use different words at home or in class, this is vocabulary children in the U.S. will hear and should learn.
– The set is reasonably priced. Do not let the small size of these books mislead you — they are an excellent value for $25. You are paying for carefully designed, easy-to-use content. These six short books contain more effective learning material than many more expensive language products.
Visit the Sing ‘n Speak Spanish website to order. You have to call to order (or send a fax), but I have spoken with the founder of the company, Julia Burnier, and she assured me that they ship immediately.
You may also be interested in this post: Mexican Story Teaches Language and Culture – Relajo en la cocina
Disclosure: The company sent me a copy of this product to be able to write the article. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.