Traditional features of many picture books make them excellent Spanish-language learning tools. For example, illustrations that support the Spanish text and the repetition of grammar structures are features that teach vocabulary, word order and the rules of syntax.
This online book in Spanish is a great example of how technology can provide new features that contribute to the language learning process. In addition to traditional elements, this story is interactive. On each page, the child chooses a word to complete a sentence. This feature engages children and teaches Spanish vocabulary as the picture changes to reflect the child’s choice. In addition, the story has audio to teach correct Spanish pronunciation for those who are not native Spanish speakers.
The story is very simple. Clifford is looking for Emily, but he finds lots of things before he finds her. Each page has three sentences: an introductory sentence, a sentence with the verb encontrar (to find), and the question Pero¿dónde está Emily? (But where is Emily?).
The sentence with encontrar (to find) is not complete. The story lists three words to complete the sentence. The reader clicks on one and it becomes part of the story. All of the words fit and are correct, and the picture changes to show the object that Clifford (or his friends) found. The Spanish word is pronounced, and then the whole sentence is read aloud. The picture clarifies the meaning of the Spanish word.
To read this story with your child, follow these steps:
- Click on this link to an interactive story in Spanish about Clifford the dog. It will open in a separate window.
- Click on the bone when it says Empieza (begin). You can play tic-tac-toe while you wait for the story to load if you like.
- Click on the bone that says Empieza (begin) again. It is below the title ¿Dónde está Emily? (Where is Emily?)
- On each page, click on the speaker in front of each sentence. To complete the sentence that uses encuentra/n (he finds/they find), click on one of the words.
- Repeat the question Pero ¿dónde está Emily? with your child and click on the bone that says siguiente (next) to keep looking for Emily.
The picture make the text clear, but if you are learning Spanish with your child, there is an English version of the story available too.
In addition to vocabulary, this story teaches the use of estar for location. See this post for more information about pictures books that teach estar.
¡Que se diviertan con el cuento! Have fun with the story!