Now is a great time for children to learn a foreign language. Research shows that people learn languages much more easily in childhood than they do in adulthood. In addition to that, learning a second language comes with a ton of benefits including better opportunities later on in life. If you’ve got a child that just loves watching tv, you may be able to incorporate that hobby as a supplement to language learning.
10 Netflix Shows that can Help your Children Learn Spanish
- Little Baby Bum
This animated show is filled with songs and covers basic topics such as counting, colors, numbers, animals and other basic vocabulary babies can learn.
- Word Party
Word Party is a show with baby animals Bailey, Franny, Kip, and Lulu that helps kids learn.
According to Language Learning at Home, Pocoyo “follows the adventures of Pocoyo, a four-year-old boy and his assorted animal friends, and will be particularly useful to language learners because of all of the deliberate narration that the series includes—which helps viewers recognize what’s going on and learn new vocabulary.”
- Cleo & Cuquin
This show is about a little girl and her brother solving problems and trying out various careers. To listen to this show in Spanish select the Spanish audio option on Netflix.
- Yohoo Al Rescate
This show is perfect for babies around age 2 and centers around animated animals going on adventures.
According to YouTube, “The Octonauts are a dynamic eight-member team of quirky and courageous adventure heroes who dive into action whenever there is trouble under the sea.”
This animated show centers around Porroro the penguin and his friends.
According to ABC, “Kazoops! follows the adventures of Monty, an inquisitive six-year-old with a vivid imagination, and the family pet pig Jimmy Jones, his loyal best friend.”
- The Willoughbys
While this show is animated it may appeal to older kids. Netflix says, “Four siblings with horribly selfish parents hatch a plan to get rid of them for good and form a perfectly imperfect family of their own.”
- Masha and The Bear
This is an award-winning popular one your kids might love. According to IMDB, “A retired circus bear settles into the woods and prepares for a quiet new life surrounded by peace and tranquility until he is introduced to an adventurous little girl named Masha.” It’s a Russian cartoon but it has the Spanish language option available.
Some of these shows are not originally in Spanish but Netflix should give you the option to select the Spanish audio. If these shows don’t appeal to your child, that’s fine. Just make sure that for the younger kids, you keep the shows simple. Any kid show in Spanish is better than none.
Can My Child Really Learn Spanish Watching Netflix?
The short answer is ‘no’. While Netflix can be used as a great supplement, it cannot make your child fluent. Netflix shows are good for learning some vocabulary words as well as getting more hours with the language. They can also provide another source of listening. If the shows are being spoken in Spanish, then they’ll hear the pronunciation and may pick up on sentence structure and especially the sounds of the language.
According to Chad Skelton, in an article for the Vancouver Sun, “No matter how much you enjoy Ni Hao, Kai Lan, or Dora the Explorer, you shouldn’t expect them to make your kids bilingual.”
Linguistics Society of America says that children learn languages through interaction. They also believe that television alone will not make your child fluent. As a matter of fact, their article said, “A child who regularly hears language on the TV or radio but nowhere else will not learn to talk.” That not only applies to acquiring their native language but also acquiring a second language.
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How Can My Child Achieve Fluency in a Second Language?
As said before, interaction is paramount. At TruFluency Kids, we believe in the Bellieu Method. The Bellieu Method in summary is making communication the forefront of language learning, using relevant, everyday vocabulary that everyone will use on a daily basis. We believe in focusing on listening and speaking, just like kids learned their first language.
Do you remember how your child became fluent in English? It wasn’t from the TV, or reading, it was from you and others speaking to them every single day in English. Children learn how to speak before they learn how to write. Therefore speaking with them and interacting in the target language is an important factor in becoming fluent. At TruFluency Kids, we focus on listening and speaking, getting the kids confident responding to basic, everyday questions and topics – using real language.
If you’re ready to make your kids bilingual and help them reap all the benefits that come with it, consider us. Check out a class for as low as $12 bucks! Our methods are tried and proven so you can be confident in your child learning effectively learning Spanish. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help!