La primavera

dos azafranes:  two crocuses

dos azafranes: two crocuses

Here in New England we are observing the first signs of spring! Los tordos sargentos (red-winged blackbirds) are among the first to return. Audobon’s Guía de Aves de América del Norte is an excellent Spanish language resource for bird identification.

If you would benefit from hearing the pronunciation of the Spanish words in the búsqueda de tesoros en el bosque activity found in Root & Star (see list below), you can listen to our friend Dominique Roberts say them for you.

From Argentina, Dominique is a gifted singer and songwriter who now lives in the United States and studies Second Language Acquisition. You can hear more of her music here , and learn about Dominique’s work by following her on Facebook.

At the end she adds two new terms for you to include in a spring-themed nature treasure hunt; una flor (a flower) and una rana (a frog). ¡Feliz primavera!  

Click here to listen to Dominique say these words for you.

una búsqueda de tesoros en el bosque (a treasure hunt in the forest)

una hoja (a leaf)
la luna (the moon)
una seta (a mushroom)

una ardilla (a squirrel)
un conejo (a rabbit)
un árbol (a tree)
unas bayas (some berries)

un caracol (a snail)

las estrellas (the stars)

una flor (a flower)
una rana (a frog)

Una búsqueda de tesoros en el bosque

Root & Star: The Forest Issue 20

Root & Star: The Forest Issue 20

We are pleased to share our recent publication in Root & Star!  We’ve been checking our mailbox regularly, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Forest issue. Una búsqueda de tesoros en el bosque (treasure hunt in the woods) is an interactive Spanish language activity for children - inspired by outdoor adventures we’ve enjoyed with our own children and their friends.  

[photo by: Angela Dimock]

[photo by: Angela Dimock]

We imagine families going outside and exploring their own backyards in any season. No matter if you live in an urban or rural area, this type of activity is easily customized. It is intended for language learners at any level, beginner to advanced.

Some illustrated cards with text in Spanish.

Some illustrated cards with text in Spanish.

To compliment our recent publication, we are sharing examples of illustrated vocabulary cards you can use to introduce new words alongside an illustrated “checklist” that can be used to keep track of which treasures are found outside.

An illustrated checklist with the items labeled in Spanish.

An illustrated checklist with the items labeled in Spanish.

We hope this Spanish language treasure hunt is useful, and gives you a starting point from which you can add more Spanish language to your days.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out this beautiful, ad-free magazine for children (ages 3-8), you can find it at Barnes & Noble, Whole Food supermarkets, and other bookstores.

The role of the language gardener

“The role of the language gardener is to provide a stimulating soil – a variety of pleasurable environments for language growth.”

-Colin Baker, A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism (2007, p. 29)

Parents' and Teachers' Guide.jpg

Baker’s description of the parent as a language gardener reminds us to find pleasure in the fleeting moments with our children and to view our language experiences as opportunities to strengthen our bond. In doing so, the minority language, and more importantly, the parent-child relationship will flourish.

This guide, also available in Spanish, has a fourth edition. Together with Colin Baker and the Multilingual Matters Team we would like to offer a discount to our readers, 25% off all books in the Parents’ and Teachers’ Guides Series. Please use code LGPTG25 at checkout.


amigos juntos.jpg

The last time we lived in the same place was when we were first-time Spanish teachers. Now, thirteen years later, much more than Spanish ties us together. During a recent gathering of our families at Genn’s house, we were reinvigorated by the support we find in each other. Our non-native language is a common thread found throughout many aspects of our lives. While it can be hard to notice and appreciate minority language growth on a day-to-day basis amidst the pressures of a majority language, watching our families interact in both English and Spanish helps us to maintain our focus on the growth. We have learned that we are stronger in this language-learning journey together. We would love for you to join us. Juntos somos uno más.