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Chop Chop is a family cooking magazine published in both Spanish and English. This amazing magazine won the prestigious 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Publication of the Year. A wonderful publication for native speakers of either language, the Spanish edition also provides an excellent language experience for children learning Spanish. If you are looking for a gift for a Spanish learner, or simply want to spend time with your child and engage her with the language, Chop Chop is an excellent choice.

Chop, Chop has delicious recipes, beautiful photos and fun activities for kids. You can learn more about the magazine and subscribe on the Chop Chop website.

Advantages of Using Chop Chop with Children Learning Spanish

Cooking is a hands-on activity.
Moving and doing make language learning happen. When children read, for example, Pon las rebanadas en una bolsa de plástico resellable y métela en el congelador, the action of putting the slices (of banana, in this case) in the bag and the bag in the freezer help them process the words at a deeper level. Whether they are washing, stirring or eating what they make, the physical component enhances Spanish learning.

Photos provide visual support for the language.
Chop Chop has great photographs. Many of them are labeled with specific captions, and the photos clarify the language. Other photos include several ingredients for a recipe. These  make excellent pre-cooking language activities as kids identify and label the items.

There is built-in repetition.
Repeated exposure is essential to learning a language. Cooking in general, and Chop Chop specifically, provides lots of repetition. Ingredients and verbs are repeated from recipe to recipe. When children choose to make a specific recipe again, they repeat the entire process – perfect language reinforcement. Finally, the layout of Chop Chop is remarkably consistent in terms of language. Headings such as ¿Lo sabías?, Consejo de seguridad and ¡Hazlo elegante! introduce interesting and important information in every issue.

Chop Chop is a multicultural magazine.
Culture and language are inseparable. Chop Chop offers recipes with roots in many world cultures and teaches kids about the associated flavors and ingredients. Many of the recipes are from the food traditions of Spanish-speaking countries and are culturally relevant for any child learning the language.

The language is real and relevant.
Often children learn Spanish in academic settings, where the use of the language is contrived. As hard as a teacher tries to make it real, it is next to impossible in a classroom. When language is being used to communicate real information, it will be retained.

Children build positive associations with Spanish.
Cooking is fun! Cooking is also a life skill and part of learning to be responsible for yourself. Connecting a fun activity and a sense of accomplishment to Spanish builds positive associations that last well beyond any one recipe. When children enjoy a language, they learn much more effectively.

Chop Chop loves language.
Chop Chop is a cooking magazine, but it is also a language magazine. There is lots and lots of Spanish! From the glosario at the front of each edition, to the word search, to the conversation questions in Conversación en la mesa, the language is fun and engaging. The magazine consciously teaches the language of food and encourages family communication.

It is not easy to find quality, affordable Spanish print materials. In a day where audio and video are becoming more and more accessible, I am pleased kids, parents and teachers have Chop Chop as source of Spanish text.

spanish reading chop chop

Chop Chop is an excellent example of authentic language that can be used effectively with Spanish language learners. Of course, children learning the language will need support to ensure they are successful and having fun.
One of the best ways to support kids is to prepare and cook together. Before you cook, browse the magazine and talk about the photos, choose and read through a recipe together, label the ingredients in the photos, and make a list of ingredients to buy. Then, choose a time to cook y hablar español en familia.

You may also be interested in this post: Talking about food – Make and Print a Grocery List in Spanish


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