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A whole country that speaks Spanish??

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Today is Spanish Language Day, and this reminded me of a story that happened a couple months ago. After returning from a speedy trip to Mexico, I was showing some videos I took to my daughter. In one of the videos, she overheard one of the people talking. She looked puzzled, and then asked 'Why is everyone talking in Spanish?'

A sign that says "here starts spanish zone"
Sign "comienza zona en español"

'What do you mean?" I replied. And then it dawned on me. She has heard me speak in Spanish, the TV shows she watches are in Spanish, and the people in her Spanish class speak Spanish. But that is about it. She has never been surrounded by more than 5 people speaking Spanish at the same time. This is why she was confused.

Never missing an opportunity to teach, I went on to show her a map of the Americas, and

explained that, in all those countries, people speak Spanish. It is estimated that more than 572 million people speak Spanish around the world. I explained that when we go to Mexico, she will see that there are many many people that speak the same language! She was

A picture of a map of the Americas continent
Map of the Americas

impressed, and then, as any four year old would, lost interest.

This brief experience was a reminder that when we are teaching a target language, a lot of times we end up doing it in a silo. When possible, including the community component is important. Whether that is meeting up with other families or traveling, exposing our children to a wider scope of the language will strengthen their learning and language skill.

Do you have any other tips or suggestions for a more fullsome spanish learning experience? Let me know in the comments!


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