spanish online activity

This new activity from OnlineFreeSpanish introduces children to the concept of the gender of nouns in Spanish. There is a short, clear explanation, and then kids practice with the definite article. All of the words are illustrated with pictures, so this Spanish online activity is also good exposure to new vocabulary in a context where kids will know what it means.

I think that many of us find it hard to know how much emphasis to put on grammar. Although children learn many structures by listening and reading, as they get older they do need to learn the rules of the language. Native speakers are also taught rules, just as they are in English. At the same time, we do not want to overemphasize details that will sort themselves out naturally with more exposure to the language.

This online activity explains the agreement rule that applies the vast majority of the time: nouns ending in -a are feminine and will use la, nouns ending in -o are masculine and will use el. Then, kids apply that rule to common nouns by selecting the correct article. This focused practice makes children aware of gender and agreement, but it does not create inhibitions the way being corrected when they are speaking or writing can.

This activity has native-speaker audio, so kids hear the word pronounced with the correct article. This is an important aspect of mastering gender – learning to associate the sound of the article with the final sound of the word.

Of course, kids learning Spanish hear nouns and articles all the time, but usually they are focusing on content, as they should be. They absorb the sound of the language at a subconscious level, and then later learn the rules for what they have been hearing.

When children are introduced to the concept of gender, it is often done with a few oral examples and then worksheets or writing exercises. Unfortunately, that completely removes the aural component. However, in this online activity they are taught the structure and then as they practice, they repeatedly hear the article and ending of the noun linked.

The game gives players words in sets of ten. To get a new set, just refresh the page.

Link to Spanish Online Activity

Practicing Gender from OnlineFreeSpanish

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