Tag Archives: Spanish

Muppets Most Wanted – A Must See Movie

muppets2f

 

disclosure-muppets

After a prologue which takes place moments after the closing scenes of The Muppets, the sequel quickly establishes an evil heist plot. The Muppets tricked into conducting a world-tour with new manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). Kermit may not approve, but he has been replaced by Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog who looks exactly like Kermit except for a black mole. With Kermit stuck in a Russian gulag and Constantine impersonating our hero, can anything or anyone stop Dominic and Constantine’s international crime plan? And just what will the Muppet Show be like without Kermit’s direction?

The film amusingly plays out like a superhero sequel. Once again we get the super villain who is basically the doppelganger for the hero, and the film does place more emphasis on the villains at the expense of the heroes while showing the cracks beneath the satisfactory status-quo established at the end of the first film.

muppets dinnerf

I could spend the next paragraph or two spoiling with my favorite jokes, the BOX secret, my favorite parts, but what would be the point? I will, instead, share that the picture is filled with wonderful gags, puns, callbacks, and references to its own existence and the franchise’s legacy. At its best; lovely Tina Fey does get to sing with a Russian accent!

Tina

I will also share the adorable Hispanic reference when they perform in Madrid, the song is in Spanish and Salma Hayek appears! But Celine Dion’s song was actually my favorite! 

celinef

I particularly loved the cast and the story, which captivated all adults and children at the screening!

Muppets Most Wanted is entertainment at its best, a great option for all ages! I highly recommend it! 

The movie opens in theaters March 21st! 

Pictures courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco Spanish App

WZ_TrainSPAN_iPad_768x1024_A-01 A

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Cupcake Digital. However, all opinions expressed are my own

I’m so happy to have tested Cupcake Digital’s new App, Wuzby y El Tren Loco Spanish App which shows the newest Spanish version of Wubbzy’s adventures! The company is committed to providing opportunities for exposing children to a new language with the option to switch from English to Spanish.

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features a fun-filled story in which Wubbzy and his friends face silly obstacles, when their train breaks down on the way to the Kooky Karnival.

This wonderful app for big and little kids is available for $2.99 on the Apple App Store, Amazon, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store (TM) for iOS, Android, NOOK and Kindle Fire devices. The great thing is that the English/Spanish version can be downloaded new or the addition of a Spanish language option is a free upgrade for those who already own the English version.

 

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features:

– Playful mini-games within the story and added learning games for practice of number, letter and sight word recognition.

– Professional narration of the same story in English and Spanish is a good introduction for initiating natural language acquisition.

– Individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and can be used to practice Spanish.

– Three reading modes: Just a Book for quiet reading time, Read to Me and Read & Play.

– Spanish subtitles have been added to three original sing-along music videos from the popular Emmy (R) award-winning series.

– Coloring pages with scenes straight from the story.

– A Grown-Up’s Corner to guide parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing the story with kids.

My students and I explored the adventures and funny, interactive obstacles which makes this app, not only a great way to help families teach and practice Spanish but also shows a super fun way for children to embrace a foreign language and learn while playing!

As an instructor, I would highly recommend it! I’ve used for two weeks with more than 80 students, ages 4-6 and they totally loved it, so much they are asking their parents to download the app to use it at home!

For more information, visit http://www.cupcakedigital.com/apps-en-espanol/.

Spanish App review: La Aventura de Wubbzy y Los Dinosaurios

wuzby pic

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Cupcake Digital. I received a free digital download to review this app, however all opinions expressed are my own.

I use many apps in my Spanish Classes and with my own son at home. Technology builds a bridge with the new generation which brings the familiar association between technology and fun!

I personally use not only apps, but also videos, songs and many other resources at my fingertips to make the learning experience richer and more fulfilling.

I wanted to share La Aventura de Wubbzy y Los Dinosaurios the newest App I have used in my classrooms this past week, with children from 18 months and 6 years old. I have an iPhone and iPads, but you can download the version from Amazon,  Google Play .

Some of the main features:

Reading – The children were captivated by the fact that we could do our story time using the App they could click on words and have them read to them and they were repeating with the sense of accomplishment that they were reading it!

Games – Which bring numbers, words, abc, cupcake decorating and matching Dinos, so much fun!

Coloring – Where children listen to colors in Spanish when they click on them and color the picture as they click on the black and white picture.

Videos – Are very cute as well, in English but with subtitles in Spanish.

The Wubbzy app is a great way to introduce many skills to children. Wubbzy  entertains, educates children, while the stories are fun and very child friendly, easy to be shared with different ages by the parent or by the child who just started their reading journey . Filled with simple stories that parents can read to their children or they can let their children read the storybook, if they are at that stage. This fun bilingual app is available in English and Spanish full of games, puzzles, sing-along songs, and interactive tools.

I highly recommend using technology in games, videos, apps to bring the child’s imagination and love for that type of interaction to learn new skills and definitely to learn a foreign language! Hope you download and enjoy the app!

 

Best Bilingual Apps

 

In this first post, I will be sharing our favorite posts for learning Spanish:

Some of the parents of my students have asked me for apps recently. I have then looked for apps, not only for the languages that I teach, but others as well.

Based on online reviews and my own experience, these are my favorites!

Spanish Apps

 

Handy Manny’s Flashcard Fiesta


 
Latin American Spanish with Doki for iPad
 
doki

You’ll traverse the language-rich land of Doki, checking in to different attractions and learning words in logical groupings. Time to visit the restaurant or la agencia de viajes! The Doki app even breaks up the learning into two age-appropriate categories, one for those ages 7 to 14, and another for those of us ages 15 and up.

http://www.theiphoneappreview.com/2012/12/learn-basic-latin-american-spanish-with-doki-for-ipad/

Peekaboo Barn 

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Animals appear behind barn doors, children will be amazed by tapping into each door!

http://nightanddaystudios.com/app/peekaboo-barn/

Kidztory 

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You can listen to classics in Spanish, English and Cantonese!

http://www.kidztory.com/the-little-red-hen/

 

Noah Compreende

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Great app with games, videos and so much more! Noah is also a cartoon, where everybody speaks Spanish and Noah tries to figure out the word in Spanish. One of my favorites!

 

http://pbskids.org/noah/

 

Please share if you liked them and your experienced with using them!

 

Have an Amazing Bilingual Year!

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   As the year come to an end I feel compelled to look for more ways to bring more bilingual joy into our life and to strengthen my commitment to raise a bilingual child and keep my culture’s flame burning to open my son’s mind to a world of endless possibilities, since I also continue to bring Hispanic heritage into the mix!

As any busy parent, I see myself conflicted between spending the little time left during the day with crazy bilingual maneuvers…..but you know, after being a few days home with no work, I realized it is all worth it and I not only contributing for my son’s education, by introducing foreign languages to him, but also filling his spirit with rich traditions in the books we read together, in the food I so carefully prepare and in my attempts to keep my mother language and Spanish alive in our home!

My husband is an American and does not speak a foreign language, although he has been talking about learning Portuguese, which made me very happy, but I must confess, I would have to find an instructor to teach him and I will help bring the language alive at home, that is one of my goals for 2013!

Another goal is to work harder on using a foreign language at home and bringing things like music, which my son loves, closer to us, so we keep the foreign language flame burning!

My son attends a Christian school and latin is taught until 6th grade, so I have no help there to keep his Spanish skills sharp! He attends most of our summer camps, which brings him an amazing amount of knowledge but it slowly goes away as the year passes and I see myself divided between Portuguese and Spanish at home…..you know, always conflicted!

So instead of worrying about being conflicted, another new year’s resolution is to keep doing what I have been doing and bring more in 2013; I would love to see my son speaking Portuguese fluently by the time we travel to Brazil in August! He speaks short sentences but we need to take it to the next level and establish a more consistent conversation!

I do want to share what I already do and has proven to show results, whether you are starting or just wondering how to start! Please share if you try some of our ideas on how to bring bilingual joy into your home, even if you don’t speak the foreign language!

Yes, I set time aside! We have Spanish night,  Tuesday Tacos! When I cook a Hispanic meal and we speak Spanish at the table, I also read some of my books I am using in my classes during our bed time time, he watches me prepare classes at night on my computer, so he watches and listens to videos! I also have a long playlist on my ipad and iphone, so when I’m home cleaning the house, guess what, only Spanish or Portuguese music on!

Failing is not an option! There are no wrong or rights, every effort is worth it!  You must find time, but above all, make it fun, so it is not a chore for you and your children! It’s easier for me because I have all the books and activities at my finger tips but I wanted to share some resources: go to my blog: www.easylearnlanguages.com, search for a themes, each theme has suggestions on things to do, songs and videos to watch. We need to do age appropriate and keep them engaged. Also if you and your husband are native speaker, it’s easier, make a point to bring the language and establish a reward chart if they are reluctant to reply in Spanish, every reply worth a star!

Books are a great option for spending time with your child and bringing bilingual love at bed time! You can find books here in our store and also at Barnes and Noble, my two best sources for buying new bilingual books!

Videos are a must! Today’s children are connected with technology, tv, shows, so youtube becomes your first option for new videos, itunes also offers many apps to bring bilingual practice and games to your little or not so little ones! I will be sharing my favorite apps next year, stay tuned!

We also make a Brazilian dish once a week and I share memories! Memories of my childhood and memories that the food evokes…This week we made brigadeiros, recipe available on: www.kcocina.com and also made a typical Bahian meal with muqueca and farofa de manteiga, not one morsel left!! I shared how my mom used to make this meal and all about dende oil and how it was brought by African slaves to our culinary mix! Use of dende oil is typical of north of Brazil, not found in most Brazilian restaurants in the US, so my meal brings an unique experience to my son!!! I was so proud to see him enjoying every bite! Muito Bom!

bahian food

 

The Brigadeiros are a must on every birthday party in Brazil, another great addition to our new year’s munch table! Recipes here: http://kcocina.com/latina-cuisine/brigadeiros-brazilian-truffles/

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I hope my suggestions and my experience has helped you continue to do more or start to make 2013 an amazing bilingual year! Please share if you use some of our suggestions???

….And remember, there is no wrong when you put effort and love to bring bilingual love into your home! Feliz Ano Novo!

Claudia K. –

A multilingual Mom, foreign language instructor and owner of EasyLearn Languages

Elf on a Self, on a table, on the taco, the guacamole, by the maracas! Ole!

I bought the book The elf on a shelf in Spanish to use in upcoming classes and story time sessions I had scheduled for December!

Forgot to hide it and my son found the box and said wow! We have a Spanish Elf! So much fun! Is he going to speak Spanish too?? Can you read the book? Is he coming tomorrow too? He had been visited by the American elf for a few days! I was in trouble! I decided to think about ways to make my elf authentic 🙂

Went to my laptop and decided to list places where he would appear and things he would do to show his Hispanic character! Tomorrow, his first day at our home, he will be sitting on a tortilla with some sour cream!! 🙂

I have decided to have fun and welcome our new elf with a real Hispanic hospitality and will be sharing the pictures on our facebook page!

If you wish to join my journey, the book is only sold at Target online, not in stores and the main website has a Spanish version!

http://www.elfontheshelf.com/es-es/aboutus/latradicion.aspx

The book can be found on this page:

http://www.target.com/p/the-elf-on-the-shelf-una-tradicion-navidena-nina-elf/-/A-14247066

Look forward to seeing you there!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bilingual-Buddies/183113808473788

10 Bilingual Activities while at home with hurricane Sandy!

I know, I know! You are at home for two days and you wished you could use some of this time to bring more bilingual love to your children at home??

Here are some suggestions!

1) Play Go Fish with your regular cards and they need to say the numbers out loud while playing the cards!

2) Youtube has some karaoke links to sing Spanish Songs, search for your favorite topic or songs to sing! Like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm1L62FjBso

3) Hide and Seek – One child will count to 20 in Spanish or any other language and the others will hide.

4) Frio o caliente – You hide an object and children will look for it and you will say frio when it is far and caliente when it is close to it, progressing to muy caliente, herviendo!

5) Reading books, bilingual or in the target language, specially comfort ones, my son is specially cuddly when storms come, I sit with him on the couch and read books in Spanish and Portuguese!

6) Cook! – I chop veggies, fruits, make cookies, sandwiches and basically anything which is an excuse to review or teach food vocab!

7) Coloring pages found on the web, while they color review colors or teach them in the target languages, specially rainbows, they are great to teach the children, the rainbow will come after the storm! Arcoiris, Arco iris!

8) It’s Halloween, give family members candy and have your child say a word in the target language to get a piece of candy! Each word is worth a piece! Just be careful, you don’t want your child bouncing up the walls after loaded with sugar! 🙂

9) Camping inside – Prepare sleeping bags, inside a children’s tent, toys, flashlight, a book and other objects inside and pretend you are camping and tell them a camp fire story and/or teach them vocab around you like tent, sleeping bag….

10) Play online foreign language games, always a favorite!

Hope you enjoyed our tips and share if you used them!

 

 

Does Back to School means Back to English??

My son has probably endured over 100 hours of Spanish this summer, if you count summer camps and classes he sat in with me! Anything from advanced Spanish for healthcare to Mommy and Me caterpilar games!

Back to school approaches, is actually tomorrow and he does not have Spanish at this school, they teach them Latin until 6th grade! Nothing against Latin but I have tossing and turning on how to keep my son’s amazing vocabulary acquired over the summer without replacing it with Latin or English itself!

Many parents I know tell me, before the children went to school, they spoke their native language all the time, once schooling age started, answers in English, then total loss and they come to me frustrated: Que Hago??

I faced the problem myself and decided to bring Spanish besides our food night to our lives while we are in the car driving to school or through a cool song or video!  I honestly believe a foreign language needs to be fun and would not change it with my own son!

He associates foreign language with time with mom and I love that!

After pinteresting many activities to be using which I will be sharing, like game night, scrabble and many other in Spanish or Portuguese, I reached the conclusion that Back to School does not have be back to 0 in the language A or B, it should be, let’s include A or B in our lives to make a natural transition!

Share your experience in  keeping with your child’s bilingual skills, I would love to hear it!

 

Claudia – Bilingual-Buddies Mom

 

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Cinco de Mayo

Well, after 5 parents asked me if there was an easier, EASIER being the key word to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Common reasons are, I don’t cook, can you imagine Spanish food?? I am not crafty…..I am not good at singing, I don’t speak Spanish, the list goes on and on….so I decided to address each of the reasons given to me for not celebrating Cinco de Mayo and put together an easier guide to celebrate cinco de mayo!

I don’t cook! Well, a couple options:

 

Everybody that knows me, know that I am a strong advocate against fast food but we will make an exception by visiting local fast food restaurants for breakfast! My favorites: MacDonald’s Burrito

Taco Bell’s Burritos

A Fruit Salad for a nice light lunch and dinner, well, dinner, there are so many options, basically any American restaurant in the US has steak/chicken fajitas or quesadillas and flan for dessert or maybe you should try that small authentic restaurant you have been looking for! Maybe mommy and daddy can also top with a margarita! Arriba!

Not crafty??? Google local libraries and children’s museums, they are all offering special activities this Saturday.

Singing for you means bathroom time?? Well, Youtube has some great options, I blast it out with my wireless speakers on my iPad:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwTvRUQhp0Q

This one has a funny dance with it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3EmfX6WEpQ&feature=related

Cartoon time is in Spanish on Saturday! Yes, they love to watch tv, so let them!!!

Cute videos for younger ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y5N2hXOKL4

 

 

Don’t speak Spanish?? No need, use some words during your family day like:

Gracias – thank you      De nada – you are welcome     let’s eat – vamos a comer  let’s sing – vamos a cantar  hi – hola bye – hasta luego

Surprise them with a new Spanish Mom!

I hope my post inspired you to try one or all suggestions, if you do, PLEASE, PLEASE, come and share??

Bilingual Buddies Team

 

My Favorite Spring Spanish Books