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Posts Tagged ‘primarylanguages’

Seasonal poems

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

Having worked on adapting a verse of La Primavera by Antonio Machado last week (see here and here for previous posts about this) , Year 5 were set a new poetic challenge this week.

Whilst I was out of action with my broken ankle, some students from BCU taught my Y5 classes using the QCA SoW unit Las cuatro estaciones as their starting point. They taught about the weather, the months of the year and the seasons, and judging by the recap lesson we had, they were successful in their aim!

This week we reviewed the seasons and thought about how we might write simple poems about them. I suggested we thought of colours as everyone was familiar with at least 5 colours that they could match to a season. I  introduced other adjectives, including reminding them of ones we had used in connection to music (Autumn term) and the planets (Spring term)

I modelled a simple structure, saying we were aiming for something like a Haiku not a sonnet; about half of them understood what I meant!

La primavera es verde y amarilla.

La primavera es bonito y alegre.

Me gusta la primavera.

Having given a sheet with some adjectives on it (including some unsuitable ones for this task like alto and bajo) and access to dictionaries, off they went.

And I was really pleased with some of the results.

Amelia has missed most Spanish lessons since Christmas as she has spent Tuesday afternoons at a local secondary school doing some G&T work.  Today she wrote the poem below in 10 minutes.

photo 5And these children impressed too, especially this one from Sam who finds Spanish tricky at times.
photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

They are simple, yes. But they demonstrate to varying extents that they can

  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structure that they have learnt
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
  • describe people, places, things and actions … and in writing       (Languages Programmes of Study: Key Stage 2)

Looking forward to next week when we will continue in this vein and present our poems using technology!

Stafford Primary Languages Conference – Tip Top Language Learning

Friday, March 28th, 2014

As promised, my presentation from Stafford last week! A quick whip through some of my favourite activities with a view to inspire and also keep everyone awake after lunch ;)

Links -

Rachel Hawkes’ phonics

Music for Los vocales D.I.S.C.O.

Rhabarberbarbara

Jo Rhy Jones phonic activities 

Oso Pardo pdf

Boowa et Kwala – Peut tu marchez comme un canard? Fingerpaint song

Padlet.com - for collecting ideas (online post it notes)

Storybird – make up your own stories using illustrators images. MFL Storybird wikispace

I also mentioned Tellagami, Pic collage and Book Creator app. Check out this post for more details!

Again, if I’ve forgotten to upload something that I promised, please let me know!

 

Something old, something new #ililc4

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

My second session at #ililc4 was entitled Something old, something new and concerned the new 2014 curriculum.

My presentation is below, and I’ll explain briefly what I said as I couldn’t attach the notes without making the Slideshare look ugly!

And there are lots of links ideas and resources at bit.ly/oldlisibo (should have thought out that URL more carefully!)

Something old, something new. from Lisa Stevens

As I explained on the day, when you have to submit your idea so far in advance and aren’t entirely sure how your idea will pan out, it is quite tricky to come up with a witty/apposite title. My choice of Something old Something new was mainly because I envisaged sharing some old ideas and some new ones plus some borrowed from others. However, as I came to think in more detail I began to think more about weddings!

Primary languages have had a bit of a torrid love life, being loved and then rejected by the primary curriculum, nearly getting up the aisle in 2010 but being jilted at the last moment when all was going so well. So I set out to explore the ‘prenuptial agreement’ (or Languages Programmes of Study at KS2), how we can make this ‘marriage’ work, how to convince those that are nervous about married life and how we’ll keep the spark alive.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.09.01

So I began by looking at the Programmes of Study, highlighting parts of the  document that I found interesting.

Purpose of study – Intercultural Understanding is still really important – it’s a vital part of language learning. Providing learners with building blocks AND mortar is key if they are to be able to express what they want in the foreign language. And ‘great works of literature’ doesn’t mean Don Quijote de la Mancha, A la recherché du temps perdu or Mein Kampf at Year 3; poetry is great literature and we regularly use an extract tom Machado in Year 5 as stimulus for writing.

Aims – It’s about a balance and variety of things; a breadth of experience that leads to progression. No arguments there!

The lack of detail in the Attainment target section could be seen as a bit disconcerting but doesn’t give much guidance. However, I’m hanging on to my Key Stage 2 Framework which is still a great document; follow that and you can’t go far wrong. Measuring progress in terms of I can statements is also helpful, and there’s been a great discussion on Primary languages forum this week on what we should be looking for in terms of skills progression. (Want to join in? Join the forum or ask to join the Sharing Primary Languages wikispace)

Subject content – I highlighted that whilst it says ‘substantial progress in one language’, this does not mean that looking at other languages is precluded; in fact, I’d positively encourage it as making links between languages  is a vital language learning skill. We discussed how a balance of skills can be achieved when some are more comfortable with speaking activities than the written word which seems more ‘serious’ and permanent. And we mentioned ‘the grammar question’ – it’s not such a bad thing! Nor is looking at languages such as Greek and Latin; very useful for understanding the formation of languages as I discovered on my year abroad at Universitat de les Illes Balears. Finally in this section we thought about laying those foundations for KS3. I referred back to a presentation I’d made at Language World called Bricklaying for Beginners and how bricks need mortar, and how it’s not a wall that needs demolishing at KS3; reinforcing but not knocking down!

I then took each  ‘pupils should be taught to..’ statement and split them into listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar, suggesting ideas and activities that might meet them.

There are lots of links on the wiki to many of the ideas but here are some comments:

  • ‘joining in’  is very important and builds confidence as does repetition e.g storytelling, reciting rhymes and poems
  • making links between graphemes and phonemes is important to enable increased fluency e.g. listening out for phonemes in songs/rhymes, sorting words, reading with your Spanish/French/German glasses so you view graphemes not as you would in your own language
  • confidence with phonics is vital to teacher and learner; syllables and stress patterns too – hence my pupils’ love of stress punching!  (a post about this and ‘animal symphony’ will follow shortly)
  • books are brilliant – not just fiction though! Non fiction is very popular with boys and also is great for linking to other curricular areas: going back to my analogy, this ‘marriage’ is about give and take! If you can’t find suitable books, make your own as with my Storybird ¿De dónde viene el yak?
  • learners can decode more complex texts without knowing every word if you provide them with the confidence to do so, embed language learning skills and discuss how languages work  from the very start.
  • writing doesn’t have to be in a book; whiteboards, post-it notes, mini books, Padlet, labels, paper chains, posters, your partner’s hand; they all count!
  • structuring and scaffolding is fine – trapdoors are great as starters as is making human sentences and physically rearranging words. The Human Fruit machine with 3+ learners holding a large dice with 6 images of nouns/adjectives/verbs etc on them and spin is a great way of making make random sentences and exploring how you can substitute words in existing sentences to make new ones!
  • I loved grammar at school; I liked the logic of it all and the patterns. So why not exploit that and make verb flowers, grammar songs and raps, dice games and so on. Use highlighters/colour to clarify grammar ( I lived by my red=accusative, green=nominative and blue=dative when learning German) be it nouns, adjectival placement, verb endings/groupings or spelling.
  • Use activities that are used in other areas of the primary curriculum; learners up level sentences in Literacy all the time so why not in the foreign language? Word pyramids starting with a word and extending to a complex sentence at the base? And card sorting activities too.

So that’s the session in a (pretty big) nutshell!

(Written whilst lying flat on my back in pain so please excuse typos!)

Favourite books for PLL – ¿De qué color es Elmo? / Descubre y aprende los colores con Fido / Harold y el lápiz morado

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

One of my favourite occupations in Spain or France – and now Switzerland/Germany – is sitting on the floor of bookshops, supermarkets and any other likely looking shop, poring over children’s books. I could – and often do – spend hours searching for gems that I can use in the classroom. I consequently have a large collection of books but many are either out of print or “don’t exist” in searches as I bought them in supermarkets. De quelle couleur est ta culotte (shared earlier this week) is one such out of print book – you can get it but it costs a week’s wages! Two of today’s books belong to another category – they ‘exist’ (obviously as I have copies!) but can’t be found for love nor money! However, I’m still going to share them as the ideas can be used with other books of a similar vein, or with homemade presentations instead of a commercial book.

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I found ¿De qué color es Elmo? in a shop in Benalmadena about eight years ago and it instantly became a favourite, particularly with Nursery/Reception. The book poses the question ¿De qué color es Elmo?  and each double page spread offers a suggestion as to his colour on the left hand page with the response on the right hand page indicating that another character is that colour as well as an object in the picture, before finally suggesting the correct colour on the final page!

Image 10The book is popular for a number of reasons

It’s repetitive – it’s easy to respond to the question with a loud ¡NO! however old you may be! Or join in with the suggested colour when I pause ¿Es Elmo….? by looking at the colour of the writing!

Sesame Street is always a winner as the characters are so friendly. Many younger learners don’t know the English names for all characters but they do know Elmo! And those that recognise Big Bird are quite happy to accept that he’s called Paco Pico, or that Grover is called Coco!

The pictures are clear and interesting. Once we’re familiar with the book we look for other objects in the pictures that are the colour suggested. For example, the house – la casa – is suggested on this page. Then we turn the page and look in other pictures. And then we start looking around the room for more ideas. Sometimes we play “Traeme algo ….” – this worked really well when the age of my pupils spanned 1 – 3 years as the little ones were happy looking and pointing whilst the older ones needed a bit more challenge! As a follow on activity we might build up a collage of images in the different colours, like mini mood boards with a character at the centre of each. Older learners might label them.

Image 8

 

Someone recently said on a forum that they didn’t like little books as not everyone can see them in a class situation and that is true (although it’s a good way of staying warm as everyone squishes up close…) However, there is a very limited supply of big books, particularly in other languages. To get around this problem, I photographed each double page and blew it up to A3 size and laminated it, making my own ‘big book’. If I had had a projector in the room, I’d have simply projected the images from my computer onto it, straight from the photogallery  (the quick answer) or in a presentation (the longer lasting solution!) Lots of classrooms have visualisers now so why not use that to show the book? (Alex shares here how you can use a USB webcam as a  really cheap visualiser!)

As I said, I bought this book years ago along with another called ¿Qué oye Epi?, a lovely story about what Epi (Ernie!) can hear as he sits by his window. Unfortunately that book went missing and I can’t replace it. Fortunately I had ‘blown it up’ into a display so can hopefully find where that is (I’m a bit of a hoarder!) and use it again.

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Another book I have that is good for very little ones is Descubre y aprende los colores con Fido. I found this in a discount bookshop in Spain along with Descubre y aprende los números con Fido for 2,95€. I’m sure that there are many equivalent books out there!

Each double page focuses on a colour – verde, azul, rojo, amarillo and marrón (not an obvious choice for me but it works!) – and has a number of things to do.

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  • three examples of e.g. brown things (adjective after noun isn’t something I’d point out but sometimes a bright spark points it out for me!)
  • ‘point to the colour’ on the colour grid
  • turn the wheel to find the e.g. brown object
  • other labelled items that ‘go with’ the object on the wheel – in this case, things in the garden around Fido’s kennel.

This book works best with small groups of children or as a book for independent learning although you could use a visualiser to share it with a whole class, inviting individuals to point/turn the wheel whilst everyone else watches on the screen.

 

Image 7My final book (for now as I haven’t found them all yet!) on the subject of colour is Harold y el lápiz morado. Harold is a little boy (in a onesie!)  who decides one night, after much thought, to go for a walk in the moonlight. But there’s no moon… so he draws one with his purple crayon. And then he draws the path and the adventure begins as the purple crayon brings Harold’s thoughts to life.

Image 6Whilst it has lots of words in it and I wouldn’t necessarily read it all to the class in one go, I love the idea of “taking a line for a walk” (not quite in the same way as Paul Klee!) guided by your imagination! Added to that, it’s very visual as the drawings are clear you can follow what’s happening without understanding every ward. So I’d read it as an experience of listening to a story in Spanish, deciphering meaning from pictures, gestures and tone of voice. And then we might take our own lines for walks to see where they might take us! Perhaps we might even take it in turns to add an image to the story that could then be narrated in Spanish by the teacher (or that convenient native speaker in my class!)

Harold y el lápiz morado is available from Abebooks and Amazon

 

Learning Spanish with children’s books

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Taking a break from my favourite books for primary language learning, I thought I’d share some ideas from someone else!

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.53.20On her blog, The Architect and the Artist, Debbie Palmer has written two posts about Learning Spanish with children’s books.

The first highlights a few series of books that she has found useful -

Froggy books by Jonathan London which are quite long but have good storiesScreen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.54.22

Oso books (Barefoot bilingual series) for basic vocabulary

Dr Seuss – familiar and fun!

Eric Carle – timeless!

All the links are to the US Amazon store so I searched UK sites to see what was available.

There are Froggy books available on Amazon.co.uk; Froggy se viste, La mejor navidad de Froggy, Froggy juega al fútbol although I’m not sure that El Primer beso de Froggy is worth THAT much money!

The Oso series can be found on the Little Linguist site for £5.99 e.g. Oso en la ciudad and  are also available (for a reasonable price!) on Amazon.co.uk

Likewise Eric Carle books can be purchased from Little Linguist e.g. Oso pardo, whilst Un pez dos peces and Huevos verdes.. are only available on Amazon.co.uk.

Then I remembered Abebooks.co.uk which searches all over the place for hard to find books – and sure enough, up popped several of the titles including lots of Froggy books at much better prices (although watch out for shipping costs!)

 

The second post recommends book thematically e.g. colours, numbers, family, house and home, weather, prepositions.

Debbie lists several books for each category and stars some of her very favourites, some of which I haven’t seen before. She’s linked to where you can pbtain them if you’re in the US so I’ve looked for those and linked to sources for UK buyers.

NB I’ve highlighted books that I’ve read/used in RED; the others, I’m going on Debbie’s recommendations!

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 10.52.40 Elefante tiene hipo (out of print but available from Abebooks if you’re willing to pay the postage!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 10.57.07 Demasiados globos (Abebooks once more!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.09.23 Salí de paseo (Abebooks and Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.14.10 Go away big green monster/ Fuera de aquí horrible monstruo (LittleLinguist and Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.16.45 De la cabeza a los pies (Amazon and Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.23.09 Ruidos en la casa (Amazon – with Kindle edition!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.30.23 Si yo tuviera un dragón (Amazon, Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.31.24 Yo tenia un hipopótamo (Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.35.17 Chumba la cachumba (Abebooks – Amazon only have it at a ridiculous price!)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.36.32 Azul el sombrero… (Little LinguistAbebooks, Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.40.36 Los animales no se visten (Amazon, Abebooks)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.44.15 Un recorrido por las estaciones (Abebooks, Amazon)
Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.47.42 Quiero más fideos (Amazon, Abebooks)

 

So now I have a list of books to investigate to add to my library! I hope that’s helpful to someone – and obviously thanks to Debbie for the ideas!

PS If you’re not in the US or UK, Abebooks does have other “nationalities” of site as does Amazon of course!

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Favourite books for PLL – Tú, ¿Cómo estás?

Monday, August 19th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

When I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago, I found a couple of books by Imapla that I loved, both very simple but also quirky.

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.38 Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 21.17.50Tu ¿cómo estás? is one of them, a large board book about how people are feeling, using ESTAR. Each double page has just three words – name + está + ‘emotion’ adjective and a  drawing of the child in question. The quirky drawings  show the emotion but so does the font in which the emotion is written. And the final page asks the question of the reader with a mirror.

I love reading it as a bit of over acting is ‘required’, and learners love joining in. After the first reading, I reread it substituting the names in the book with those of members of the class; as a child is named they get to act the emotion or feeling. On the final page, I ask individuals to respond by choosing an emotion from the story. I model the first person ‘Estoy…’ with my response but don’t necessarily expect it to be used in responses. We might then add more emotion words to give more choice, then make our own versions. We might make a storyboard with 6 boxes, the final being the question. Or a mini book from a single sheet of paper. We might take photographs of learners demonstrating emotions and make a big book with the photographs. Or we might use BookCreator app on the iPad to make an ebook with photographs or drawings, text and embed audio as well.imaphoto

 

This book is a great one for linking with PSHE about feelings – many classes have a board on which pupils indicate how they’re feeling at certain times of the day by moving their name to an emoticon, and having read this book, this activity could be done in Spanish too. And another aspect of the book, the use of calligrams (writing the word to show meaning), links well to word processing and ICT, or alternatively art if you do it by hand!  Nervioso might be quite straightforward, but how might you show enfermo or celoso? Would you use colour, shape, texture?

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(examples in English from Twinkl)

So, lots of ideas from a very short, simple book!

20/08/13 – I’ve just recalled this Storybird that I wrote that. although not all the feelings go with ESTAR, fits well with this story.

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In this Youtube video Imapla shares another of her books – I haven’t found that one in print. Yet! But I’d like to use it as it challenges the colours we normally associate with objects like the sun and the sky and gives colours to things like the wind and holes.

I’ll share the other book tomorrow in my next post.

Favourite books for PLL – De quelle couleur est ta culotte?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

 

When I first started teaching Primary languages, I went on a course run by LFEE in Salignac for French teachers (thoroughly recommend it – I worked hard but had the time of my life and rediscovered a love of French that I’d lost when I was made to start from scratch at secondary school.)  During my time there we went on a trip to Souillac and several of us spent a while in a bookshop looking for suitable books to use in our classrooms. And this was the one we all loved.

IMG_0037De quelle couleur est ta culotte? is a lift the flap book that poses the title question to a series of animals.

Each animal has a name that rhymes with its species e.g Lucie le Brebis, Mumu la Tortue and Émile le Crocodile

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and you lift the flap to find the answer:

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At the end there’s a big surprise as Armand l’elephant is a little forgetful…

I’ve used this story with EYFS – and younger in fact. They love the animals, recalling their names, and the colour of their pants. And everyone giggles hysterically in mock horror as the surprise is revealed – because we are, of course, surprised every time we read it ;o) I ask questions e.g. Valentine a la culotte rouge ou bleu?   Qui a la culotte rose? De quelle couleur est la culotte de Aimee? offering choices if needed and then we read it again with choral responses as we lift the flaps; sometimes a particularly confident child will want to ask the question too although it’s more usual to just say the name of the animal. When I shared it in Reception, we drew a washing line of pants and coloured them in for the animals. I’d probably make it into a game now, either on the IWB with a race to match the animals and pants, or as a team game with images of the animals and coloured underwear. And I’d also look to make the story our own, perhaps not about pants this time but about another item of clothing: De quelle couleur sont tes chaussettes? perhaps or a teddy bear: De quelle couleur est ton nounours? or even change it a little and ask Comment est ton chapeau? which could be answered with adjectives other than colour.

I used to teach Kindergarten at the (Catholic!) school with children from 18 months to 3 years, and was sharing this book with them when an inspector arrived. My momentary fear that the inspector wouldn’t share my love of the book, and that of the Kindergarten head who had a great sense of humour, was unfounded as she was giggling along with all the children and said she thoroughly enjoyed the French lesson!

I’ve found a sound file of someone reading the story too! De quelle couleur est ta culotte? sound file

 

Favourite books for PLL – Das ist ein Buch/Wo ist mein Hut?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

Moving to Switzerland added German books to my book case where previously there had only been French and Spanish. Not very many as books are exorbitantly priced  (I mostly borrowed them from the library) but some.

I love books. I am indeed a bookaholic and whilst I am very fond of my technology (and this series will feature ebooks), I’m not sure I’ll ever stop preferring the smell and feel of a ‘proper’ book to swiping an electronic device. So I had to purchase this book -

IMG_0041Esel (Donkey) asks Was hast du denn da?

Affe (Monkey) replies Das ist ein Buch.

Image

Esel has obviously not seen a book before and wonders if it texts, needs wifi or Tweets; Affe patiently replies Nein, das ist ein Buch until he decides that it would be best to let Esel read the book …

I love Das ist ein Buch because I’m Monkey when most people think that I’d be Donkey. I also like the ‘there’s more to life than swiping and tweeting and making noise’ message.

I think this would be a great story to share with a class, certainly the “Das ist ein Buch” refrain would soon be picked up, and the language is quite easy to decipher with clues from the pictures supported by actions from the reader. And it lends itself to adaptations with the scaffold “Kannst du…+ verb?”  with other things that a book might be able to do.

Below is an animated telling of the book and the whole book appears one one sheet here.

My second book is Wo ist mein hut

IMG_0043

 

“Mein Hut ist weg. Ich will ihn zurück” says Bär. He patiently asks the other animals if they have seen his hat but noone has until the deer asks a good question that jogs his memory!

I like this book as it is again repetitive with Bär asking each animal “Hast du meinen Hut gesehen?” and thanking them politely when they haven’t “Schon gut. Trotzdem vielen dank” so lends itself well to class reading. It could also be developed into a game where learners hide an object whilst one of the class is outside for them to discover on their return (good question practice) or in small groups with cards, with question Hast du ……… gesehen? and reply Nein, ich habe……. nicht gesehen if they don’t have the card or Ja, es ist hier if they do. You could easily substitute the verb for gestohlen (stolen) gegessen (eaten) versteckt (hidden)and so on.

 

So that’s two of my favourite German books – others include the Lieselotte series about a mischievous cow, and all the Pixi Bücher that you can buy very cheaply wherever you see the stand below as well as in supermarkets. I’ll post again with my favourite ebooks another time!

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 12.24.36

 

 

Favourite books for Primary Language Learning

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Image 2As I am virtually housebound (that’s ‘nearly completely’ not  ‘housebound in a virtual world’!) I’m looking for things to occupy my time so decided embark on a blog series. I then concluded that I could kill two birds with one stone by cataloguing my books (especially as I’m being reunited with many of them out of storage!) and blogging about them. And I woke this morning to see that Clare has blogged about her favourite French and Spanish books so it seems that now is a good time to share!

So. over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my favourite story books and try to share how I use them or might use them in the classroom. It’ll take that long as a)I have lots of books b)some are still in storage.

First post is coming right up after this one!

Kickstart Lalalingo

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I’ve blogged about César previously and linked to his Soundcloud – previously Cesar a Chinchila and now renamed Lalalingo.

César emailed me recently to say that he was trying to ‘kickstart’ a new project with his songs that involves animating the songs and making a DVD, and I’m doing my bit to spread the word. If you click on the image below it takes you a video in which he explains the plans for the project. (Afraid I can’t get the iframe to embed here!)

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 16.46.37

You can also check out the blog for videos songs and worksheets, or Like their Facebook page. They also a Youtube channel singalingua Spanish and on Vimeo they are Lalalingo.

If you want to support financially, that’s great. However, you can support in other ways by sending a message, sharing the idea or using the resources. I’ve embedded one or two of the songs here to give you an idea of what Lalalingo looks like.