About learning Spanish

My fifth grade nephew was feeling bad because a new kid in his school can hardly speak English, and has no friends. “Colin” wants to try and talk to the kid, but doesn’t know Spanish.

I’m going to lend him some high school Spanish books I had, plus a set of vocabulary cards, and that might help.

But can any Dopers recommend a quick-start beginners course for Spanish, that is online? I’ve turned up several of them, but thought the folks of the SDMB might tell me, from their experience, which are favored.


What a sweet nephew you have!

There’s no quick and easy way to learn a foreign language, but I recommend listening to music. Do you have Spanish language stations where you are?

let’s hope someone comes along in a few minutes with links to useful web sites.

Yep, he’s a good kid. I went to Barnes and Noble this afternoon and there were a lot of Spanish learning aids for kids, books, flash cards, kid’s dictionaries, and so on. I looked through them and picked on out that seemed good for his age level, and seemed to emphasize basic communication. It also had some good explanationsof the ways in which Spanish differs from English, like verb endings, articles, and word genders. I also went to Best Buy and got him a basic Spanish CD, so he can hear the pronunciations.

But I would still appreciate any recommendations or experiences that other Dopers have had.

Hmm, buy him a tape of the kiddie show Dora the Explorer?

What little familiarity I have with the language was picked up when I worked with Mexican immigrants way back in my waitressing days. While your nephew’s a bit young to be getting a job, the same give and take vocabulary exchange might work, I’d point to an object and give the english word, they’d give the spanish one and we practiced simple things like colors, numbers, animal names or simple sentence construction in between busy times.

Of course, your nephew might miss out on all the really good curses if his buddy isn’t old enough to be fluent yet, bummer.

If he wants to learn spanish that’s one thing but if he wants to help the kid get along tell him to speak to him in simple english and when the kid doesn’t get it say it again, very clearly, using the exact same words. I always wanted someone to do that for me but it’s natural for us when someone doesn’t understand to rephrase what we say. This will help the kid a lot more than your nephew trying to speak spanish.IMHO.

I’ve heard of that show, and actually saw some books of it on the shelf when I was at B&N. I’m going to find out it the library has them.

Big fifth-grade boys might be less than happy with a show targeted to the toddler crowd, though. Maybe they can watch them together in a goofy bonding over making fun of the series way?

Thanks, didn’t realize it was for little kids.