The Benefits of Reading Children’s Spanish Literature in Your Elementary Spanish Class—Part 2

In the previous post we were talking about the importance of students connecting to the content of a lesson. One of the benefits of reading quality children’s Spanish literature in your elementary Spanish class is its ability to provide this connection. There are many other benefits to reading children’s Spanish literature in your elementary Spanish class, and we’re going to start looking at them in a four to five part series.

With each distinct book, students are exposed to a distinct voice, style, and vocabulary. Each author’s vocabulary, dialect, and style provide a very different linguistic experience. By reading diverse books to Spanish learners, you can expose your students to a diversity of Spanish expression to which your students would not likely otherwise have access. For example, a teacher from Mexico can read literature written by Cuban and Spanish authors and expose her students to voice, style, and vocabulary that the teacher couldn’t otherwise express. Spanish in particular is spoken by so many people from so many distinct cultures, that without using diverse literature in the classroom, you may limit your students’ overall language-learning experience with your own dialect, vocabulary, and voice. In her article, “Teaching in the Target Language,” Helena Curtain writes about the teacher as the “culture bearer,” that is, the representative of culture in the classroom. Every time you read a book written in a distinct voice, you represent another Spanish voice, style, and vocabulary to your students. In other words, you are acting as the culture bearer.

Sonrisas Spanish School creates, publishes, and sells preschool and elementary Spanish curriculum and Spanish music for children. The Sonrisas Spanish School Curriculum can be used to teach Spanish to children at the preschool and elementary level, as well as home school Spanish. The Sonrisas Curriculum consists of fun, effective, standards-based lessons for the most effective language-learning experience for kids—one based on human-to-human interaction.

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