Spanish games and apps for children learning language.

Spanish video for kids

This is a collection of videos to use in the classroom, and many of them are short and appropriate for children learning Spanish. The government of Chile makes these videos available on the education portal Educarchile. You can download the videos to use with children learning Spanish. You can also watch them on the site, but they sometimes load slowly. Downloading them is easy and then they play really well.

You can find the Spanish videos for kids here, at the home page of AulaVisual. There are videos at all levels. (If you teach high school or university students be sure to check out the Postales series.) The easiest way to sort for short, simple videos in this extensive collection is to search by nivel (level).  From the drop down menu choose 1° Ciclo Parvularia,  2°  Ciclo Parvularia NT1, 2°  Ciclo Parvularia NT2, or 1° Básico. There is some overlap in these levels.

I think kids learning Spanish should hear as much natural Spanish as possible. Of course, as teachers we need to choose the material carefully, and provide support to create an effective learning experience. Here are some the videos from this collection that could be used with Spanish language learners. There are other possibilities, too. What is right for you will depend on the language level of the children you are working with. After the list, I have included a few suggestions for using authentic language video with children learning Spanish.

Muévete – Jugando a ser ranas  (1:21)  There is a error in the title on the video. It says “Jugando a hacer ranas.”

Muévete – El robot (1:45)

Diptongo ¿Dónde estaban? (1:51)

Jabón, el chanchito limpio – Siempre tarde (2:29)

Casandra y Casimiro – Señora Biblioteca (2:19)

The collection also includes El orgo y el pollo videos. They are very short and little children love them. However, there is no dialog, only one line of voice over at the end to sum up the point of the video. You might enjoy watching them though, just because they are really cute.

Suggestions for using authentic language video with children learning Spanish.

- Choose short videos with as much repetition as possible. Longer videos work well if they are familiar stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears or Little Red Riding Hood.

- Use videos where the images match the language that the children hear.

- Do pre-listening activities using key vocabulary. Ask questions so that children think about the topic before they watch the video.

- Tell the children what the video is about before you begin. Prepare them as much as possible for what they will hear. Do not worry about spoiling the surprise. They will enjoy it more if what they hear confirms what they expect. This way, they understand the main idea of the video.

- The first time, always let children watch the video all the way through without stopping it, asking them to do a activity, or interrupting. They need to be able to listen and watch.

- Give children a task they can easily be successful at while watching the video a second and third time. The task is actually secondary here. Repetition is important, so ideally children will watch the video several times, but they also need to stay focused on what they are hearing. A simple task helps them do that. Of course, what you do depends on the video, but these are the kinds of activities you can try:

- Kids touch a picture of a key word each time they hear it.
- Watch together and make a list of things you saw. Tell them beforehand that after you watch you will talk about what you see.
- If the video has actions the children can do, pause it so that they can do the actions.
- If the video has a repeated or funny phrase, pause it to repeat in the same voice as the video.
- Ask questions based on the images and watch again looking for the answers. (¿Cuántos? ¿De qué color? ¿Cómo se siente?)
- Ask yes – no questions and watch again listening for the answers.
- Ask a very general question and listen for the answer together.

Remember that children will not understand everything, even when you have finished working with a video. That is the way it should be. The goal is for them to understand key words, the general idea, and to be exposed to language in a context. With time and repeated exposure, they will understand more of what they hear.


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