The new Whistlefritz DVD is a wonderful language learning experience and so much fun! La fiesta de Fritzi, Fritzi’s party, introduces children ages 2-7 to Spanish. The DVD combines live action with animation to immerse children in the language. I will mention a few of the features I love on this DVD. You can read more about why the Whistlefritz approach to language learning so effective in this article about their DVD Las estaciones.
Videos are a great way for children to learn Spanish. Check out all our Spanish videos for kids.
On the Whistlefritz website you can find all their Spanish CDs and Spanish DVDs for kids. They have offered a 25% discount on La fiesta de Fritzi to Spanish Playground readers until Dec. 21. Just use the code “FritziParty.”
The producers of La Fiesta de Fritzi are experts on making high-quality Spanish language materials. This DVD has masterful pacing and wonderful content. These are just a few of the features that make it work:
– Amazing clear, standard Spanish. This might be the clearest Spanish ever spoken. No doubt the context and the repetition help children understand, but the Spanish itself is also incredibly clear. It is slower than most speech, yet has a perfectly natural rhythm. You and your child will be able to repeat every sound on this DVD.
– Length. The DVD is 30 minutes long and leaves children (and adults) wanting more. Kids will not be bored. On the contrary, this is a DVD they will watch over and over.
– Carefully selected content. There is a ton of Spanish on this DVD, and it is all representative and related. La fiesta de Fritzi exposes kids to basic structures and vocabulary including colors, household words, toys, and words for a table setting. It also provides natural, appropriate exposure to other structures like the future tense.
– Repetition. It is impossible to stress how important it is for children to hear the same phrases again and again in a context that makes the meaning clear. La fiesta de Fritzi is carefully structured to provide lots of repetition, both within individual scenes and throughout the DVD as a whole. Parents and teachers can make the most of this by reinforcing the key sentences in daily routines. ¿Qué más necesitamos? (What else do we need?), for example, is a sentence that is repeated very effectively on the DVD. We can say this every time we set the table for dinner! Likewise, the structure of the sentence Hay juguetes en el piso (There are toys on the floor.) is used repeatedly in the video and can easily be applied to many situations every day.
– Language in a supporting role. Often, the best language-learning experiences happen when children’s attention is not on the language itself, but shifted slightly. For example, on this DVD there is a wonderful animated scene in which a fox gathers different colored balloons. The antics of the fox and the balloons are very funny and completely engaging. Each time a new balloon is added, all the color words are repeated, but the repetition of the words is not the focus of the scene or of children’s attention. This kind of carefully structured implicit learning is very effective.
– María. María is the friend and teacher in this DVD. Her wonderfully expressive voice makes Spanish easy to understand. I am also so impressed by her use of gestures! The first time she makes a gesture, for comer (to eat) for example, it is clear and obvious. As she continues to use the word, the gesture is more subtle. Children will not even notice that she is using certain gestures, but they greatly help kids’ understanding and learning of the language.
– Jorge Anaya. In addition to singing all of the fun songs on La fiesta de Fritzi, this wonderful musician makes an appearance to perform Las mañanitas as a birthday serenade. The song is an excellent cultural element to include and this version is lovely. My only disappointment was that he did not sing all the verses (it is a very, very long song), and instead stopped with an appropriate number of lines for children learning Spanish.
– Everybody is so happy! La Fiesta de Fritzi just makes you feel good about the day. The smiles and laughs are contagious. Watching, I was reminded that speaking Spanish really is one of the most fun things anyone can do!
Disclosure: The company sent me a copy of the DVD to write this article. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.