Spanish Language Learning
Memrise is an absolutely beautiful free site to help you learn vocabulary in Spanish (and fifty other languages!) in a creative and fun way! The site is continually improving through a community of learners who help to add mnemonics, pictures, videos and audio to help you learn vocabulary in your chosen language. Users can create flashcards for only the words that interest them. We just love the simplicity of design and the creative approach to vocabulary building that this site offers… for free!
Duolingo is an easy, beautifully designed site to help you learn and improve your French. What an amazing concept! Users progress through the lessons at the same time they are helping to translate websites and other documents! We just love the main user account page which looks like a flow chart to help keeps track of what you have learned so far and what is coming up next. On the right side of the page, users can keep track of how often they come to “work” as well as make some virtual friends to follow. Users can also chose to get an email reminder every day at a specified time so that they don’t forget a day! So far the site is available in French, German and Spanish but Chinese, Italian and Portuguese are coming!
SpanglishBaby is a very popular blog/website created by two Latina moms who wanted to make sure that their kids grew up speaking both English and Spanish fluently. It is a very well-done site, with a LOT of useful (and fun) information, from movie and book recommendations for kids, to exclusive interviews with the stars of MTV’s show Quiero Mi Baby. They also have their first book “Bilingual is Better” coming out in September 2012.
Mama Lisa’s World is a nice site that compiles poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world. It has a very heavy focus on French and Spanish.
Bilingual Readers is a new publishing company that features bilingual Spanish and English books. While the books look great, you have to order them from specialized publishing houses (which seems to be no big deal, but it is a different step than ordering from Amazon or Barnes & Nobles). In addition to their own books, they have a great blog, which is really well-organized and filled with a lot of information about raising bilingual kids.
Mis Cositas is not the prettiest website, but it has an AMAZING amount of extremely useful tools for teaching Spanish, English, French and Chinese. You can watch and listen to videos and picture books in Spanish, download teaching materials, and access thematic units, with lessons, handouts and cultural connections. Just click on the link for the language you want, and enjoy. All for free!
Literacy Center Education Network is a non-profit organization with a mission to deliver free, professionally-designed, education material to preschool-age children. Not the most exciting website, but they have a lot of print-outs and interactive lessons to teach basic vocabulary and reading in Spanish. It also offers lessons in English, French and German!
General Foreign Language Learning
Multilingual Living is a fabulous resource for teaching your kids a foreign language. The site maintains a well-run blog, which is frequently updated, with wonderful tips and suggestions for bringing language into your lives.
Multilingual Children’s Association is a great site dedicated to raising children with multiple languages — expert advice and real world wisdom, parent discussions, tips, resource directory, articles and more.
Language Lizard is a very well-run and well-organized site geared towards helping parents and educators foster bilingualism in children. The site provides lesson plans, book reviews, tips and other resources. They also sell their own, proprietary language books, many of which are available in bilingual and multilingual versions. They cover over 40 languages.
American Council on Immersion Education is a pretty information intensive site (part of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition) that provides a lot of research and resources for supporting language immersion education.
Nanduti is a comprehensive resource on foreign language teaching and learning in grades preK-8, part of the Center for Applied Linguistics. The site provides lots of great articles, research and resources for teaching foreign languages to children. The site also supports a fabulous listserv Nandu, for language educators (or for curious parents!).