¡Hola! September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. It is during this time we recognize the many contributions and history of the American Latino community. This month-long period also celebrates the independence days of several Central American countries.
A search on TeachersFirst reveals well over 100 resources tagged for Spanish content. Also, our National Hispanic Heritage Month Special Topics Page shares 13 hand-picked resources chosen by our editors with the best activities and resources.
One way to celebrate the Latino community is through Spanish language lessons. Young students often receive some basic Spanish instruction, while the vast majority of schools offer a comprehensive Spanish curriculum beginning in middle school.
Many, many sites provide language training through a variety of methods. These three websites offer Spanish learning materials through a unique approach appealing to beginning learners.
- Reading IQ (TeachersFirst review) – This site offers an expansive library of leveled books for students ages 2-12. After creating your account, search the library using the keyword “Spanish” to find the available books. Books with the speaker icon offer the option of having the book read to you. Some of the books are in both English and Spanish, making them more accessible for students to translate and understand. Another feature of this site is the ability to create a class, add family emails, and monitor student reading progress.
- LyricsTraining (TeachersFirst review) – Students love music; this site is a natural fit for helping them learn Spanish! Select songs in Spanish from a variety of genres and artists. Artists include well-known singers like Enrique Iglesias and Marc Antony. Choose from different ability levels to begin play. Game modes include karaoke and ability levels from beginner to expert. Play the video, then fill in the missing blanks. Not sure of a word’s meaning? No problem! Click on any word to get the definition and translation. Customize your own exercises and create flashcards to share with your students.
- Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast (TeachersFirst review) – This podcast series is for learners with a fundamental knowledge of Spanish and immerses them in Spanish conversation along with grammar and vocabulary tips. Podcast topics include discussions on cities, families, and life experiences. These podcasts are perfect for learning on the go. Each podcast is approximately 20 minutes, making them just the right size for a quick Spanish language experience. Perhaps they will even inspire your students to create and share their own podcasts!
Learning another language used to be somewhat tedious. I’m sure many of us can relate to taking several years of a foreign language in high school, but barely remember much of what we learned. Today we have many options for learning in meaningful and engaging ways that take our students from memorization to understanding. In today’s multicultural society, that is a valuable addition to be used throughout their lifetime.
There are many ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, why not include learning Spanish as part of those activities?
Do you have a favorite foreign language learning website or activity? How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? We would love to hear from you in the comments.