How wonderful would it be to pack up, travel abroad, and immerse your child in the Spanish language 24/7? Providing your child with a fully immersive experience abroad is ideal, but for many families, it’s not realistic. The great news is that there are ways to simulate a foreign environment at home; just log into Netflix and get started! This post will show you why you should use Netflix as a language learning tool, how it can benefit your child, and where to find the best foreign-language shows for young learners.
How to Use Netflix to Learn a Language
Netflix Goes Global: Thanks to Netflix’s international expansion strategy, it has become a fantastic tool for learning a new language. It offers content in over 20 languages, including Mandarin, Russian, and of course, Spanish! Keep in mind that there are two ways to watch foreign-language shows: subtitled (subbed) or dubbed. All of Netflix’s original shows are available both dubbed and subtitled in Spanish.
The benefit of subtitles is that your child can see the target-language translation written out at the bottom of the screen. This will help them gain confidence in their reading skills.
The benefit of audio dubs (re-recording the original voices into a new language) is that your child can have a fully immersive experience while watching a show they love.
Subbing or Dubbing? Not sure what level of Spanish your child is ready for? No problem! On Netflix, you can mix and match subtitle and audio-dubs options until you find the fit that’s right for you. At TruFluency Kids, we believe in the power of listening and immersion; we recommend watching shows with Spanish dialogue only from a young age, if possible. If that’s too daunting, it’s also possible to watch shows with Spanish subtitles and English dialogue, or vice versa.
Netflix Shows for Kids Learning Spanish
Pocoyo: Explore and learn with four-year-old Pocoyo and his friends! This preschool education series is originally Spanish, which makes it a perfect option for creating an immersive Spanish experience. The simple design of the show will help your child focus on what the narrator is saying, and Pocoyo’s adorable animal friends are sure to bring a smile to any language learner’s face.
Curious George: While this is originally an English-language series, all of the episodes can be dubbed and subtitled in Spanish. The characters in this show speak slowly and clearly, making it easier for your little one to follow along. Not only that but watching a show with a character your child might already be familiar with will help them feel less intimidated as they start their language acquisition journey!
PJ Masks: If your child loves a bit of action, this is a great fit for you! PJ Masks is an internationally recognized show about three kids who are regular students by day and justice-seeking superheroes by night. This show is great for slightly older learners, as it touches upon more complex ideas like teamwork and doing what’s right.
The Magic School Bus: This 1997 classic is now available on Netflix, including its newest version! This show is a great way to introduce your child to scientific concepts in Spanish, and support some of the themes they might be touching upon in the classroom.
Language Learning Tip: Essentially any of your child’s favorite Netflix shows will be available in Spanish. To get your child started, consider picking a show they already like and have watched before. This will help them understand what is happening even if they can’t quite grasp all of the new vocabulary being thrown their way. Once your child is more comfortable watching Netflix in Spanish, we recommend choosing a new show that your child has expressed interest in but has never gotten the chance to watch.
Spanish Language Learning Tips for Netflix
Is Side-By-Side Translation Possible? It can be helpful for your child to see a side-by-side translation of their native language and the target language. While Netflix does not have this option by default, you can download the Google extension called “Language Learning With Netflix” for free! This extension only works in the Chrome browser, but consider using it if you want your child to compare their native language and their target language alongside each other. Here are some other benefits of the extension:
- Learners can listen to subtitles one at a time, so they can focus on individual words and alter the playback speed.
- Your child will also have access to a pop-up dictionary, and suggestions for important words to focus on.
How To Change Language Preferences: A great way to reinforce what your child has learned and create an even more immersive Netflix experience is to change your language preferences to Spanish. This changes all of the text, titles, and information related to your Netflix account into Spanish.
Your child might already be familiar with what some of the notifications and show titles are, so encouraging them to navigate the platform in Spanish will help them build their skills and confidence.
Using Netflix as a language learning tool is a great idea, but it won’t guarantee that your child will become fluent. The only way to learn a language is to speak it in real life for hundreds of hours. This is why we recommend using Netflix as a supplementary language learning tool to a Spanish class.
Learn Spanish with TruFluency Kids AND Netflix!
For your child to truly become fluent in Spanish, they will have to practice speaking it. Sometimes getting your child to speak in the target language can be a challenge, but TruFluency Kids is here to help. Our small, teacher-led online class allows kids to interact with a native Spanish speaker in real-time and get to the root of their language learning goals. Find out more about our mission and how we can help your child reach fluency while having fun.