Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's Sunday!

I'm searching for a website that I've forwarded many times. It had great suggestions for helping your children learning the target language. One piece of advice was to attend church services in the target language.

Teen Titans Trouble in Tokyo

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

What do we think?

D: It's highly stylized. Like Manga.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Live Mocha

Live Mocha rocks!!! It's free! It's fun! You can talk to native speaker from all over the world! It's well structured! It offers many languages! Did I mention it rocks?


I've been using the entire school year to help me translate J's homework. They have many features that I've just started to mess around with, including flashcards, forums, and word of the day.

James and the Giant Peach

After an exhausting day of kindergarten, J's enjoying James and the Giant Peach in Spanish.

Poner has a nice review of poner.


Benny the Irish polyglot is fluent in several languages. He’s also a professional Spanish to English translator. What’s his secret? One day he just decided that he was only going to speak the target language. He tells all here.

These folks in Casablanca know the secret. Here’s a link to a youtube clip.

And here’s the dialogue:

Mr. Leuchtag: Come sit down. Have a brandy with us.
Mrs. Leuchtag: To celebrate our leaving for America tomorrow.
Carl: Oh, thank you very much. I thought you would ask me, so I brought the good brandy. And - a third glass!
Mrs. Leuchtag: At last the day is came!
Mr. Leuchtag: Mareichtag and I are speaking nothing but English now.
Mrs. Leuchtag: So we should feel at home when we get to America.
Carl: Very nice idea, mm-hmm.
Mr. Leuchtag: [toasting] To America!
Mrs. Leuchtag: To America!
Carl: To America!
Mr. Leuchtag: Liebchen - sweetnessheart, what watch?
Mrs. Leuchtag: Ten watch.
Mr. Leuchtag: Such much?
Carl: Hm. You will get along beautiful in America, mm-hmm

Of course, you can’t always be afraid of making mistakes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Maya and Miguel

Despite reading this, we still watch Maya and Miguel often. We haven't used the PBS site yet, but you can choose Spanish.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magazines in Español

It'd be fun to get these in the mail.

Brainy Baby


Zumba (in case you’ve been living in a cave) is the latest fitness craze to hit the gym. It uses Latin rhythms to get the body moving for a fun cardio workout. Not ready to shake your booty at the local rec center? Try a DVD in your own home. And of course, you have to have the right shoes. Amazon has some at great prices. also has dance shoes. Capezio Women's Fierce Dansneaker Dance Sneaker,Black,10 M US


What does this have to do with language learning? Lots.
  • Your brain works better if your body’s healthy and active.
  • Much of the music is in Spanish. Like Khatz always says, the more exposure, the better, particularly when it’s fun.
  • Heard of Total Physical Response? If the teacher’s speaking Spanish, you really got it going on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona Books

I love the idea of destination-centered reading while I travel. Here's a list of books set in Arizona for our upcoming trip.

The protagonist of the The Bean Trees unexpectedly becomes a mother to an abandoned girl. Barbara Kingsolver also wrote the best selling Poisonwood Bible. If you haven’t read her yet, I highly recommend her books.

Jodi Picoult also wrote the best-selling My Sister’s Keeper. According to a review I read on Amazon, Vanishing Acts is about a woman who makes her living finding missing people.

Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir of growing up with an alcoholic father and a neglectful mother.

J.A. Jance has two mysteries since Damage Control-Trial by Fire and Fire and Ice. In Jance’s 15 mystery novels, Joanne Brady is a Maricopa County sheriff. Maricopa County contains Phoenix. (Joe Arpaio, the actual Maricopa County sheriff gained fame by creating tent city jails.)

Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell is a historical novel about the Navajo forced "long march" in the 1860s.

These is My Words is about the settling of the Arizona/New Mexico territories. “Based on the real-life exploits of the author's great-grandmother, this fictionalized diary vividly details one woman's struggles with life and love in frontier Arizona at the end of the last century.” –from Publishers Weekly

Bones in the Desert is about the mom of Terri of Terri's Consignment who was killed by her live-in boyfriend.

Frank Lloyd Wright bio

Barry Goldwater bio can be a great resource. I just signed up for their learn Spanish eletter.


We love the How Do Dinosaurs...? series in English. Now we can enjoy them in Spanish, too.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

50 Spanish Phrases

I am so excited about this book! It has fun games that require communication in Spanish.

Spanish Counting Books

Uno, Dos, Tres; One, Two, Three by Pat Mora
Except for the numbers, this rhyming book is almost entirely in English. The beautiful illustrations by Barbara Lavallee depict a Mexican market.

Three Friends, Tres Amigos by Mariá Cristina Brusca and Tona Wilson
The fun illustrations, by Brusca, show desert images as you count your way up to ten and back to one in this bilingual book.

En Aquel Prado by David Carter
Completely in Spanish, this rhyme describes the interaction between mama animals and their babies.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Language Lessons Learned from Splash

Yes, I mean the 80s mermaid movie with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. Madison (Hannah) learns to speak English in one day. That's even faster that Benny, the Irish polyglot.

How'd she do it?
  1. She was highly motivated to communicate with her soul mate. (That's referred to as "learning on the pillow" in some cultures.)
  2. She involves her whole body in the learning process - Total Physical Response.
  3. The input in the target language is apparently entertaining and comprehensible.
Alan's (Hanks) brother, Freddie, played by John Candy, is also gifted in second language acquisition. He says that after watching certain movies 400 - 500 times "the stuff starts to sink in." (I think that's Khatz's theory, too.)

Here's a youtube link where Madison learns English (more than 3 minutes into the 9:27 minute clip) and one where Freddie explains speaking Swedish. You have to check out the previous clip in the youtube series to see what he says.

The movie also begins with Wooly Bully, which is a bilingual (English/Spanish) song, right?


It's not that the Mouse has a monopoly on our movies; it's just that He's highly influential.

J and I were selecting a movie for our weekly family movie night. (It's a challenge to pick a movie that entertains the three year old girl, the five year old boy, and Mom and Dad.)

I found Splash, the '80s movie with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah.

I showed it to J, saying, "It's about a mermaid."

"And a sea witch?" he asked.