Friday, December 5, 2008

Book: First Spanish Words

firstspanishwordsFirst Spanish Words
Illustrated by David Melling, Compiled by Neil Morris
Oxford University Press
November 2008
48 full color pages
Ages: 4-8
ISBN: 978-0-19-911004-9



From the publisher:

"… each volume takes the reader on a picture-book journey through a child’s typical day. There is a bird’s eye view of an early morning at home. the journey to school, inside the classroom, at a birthday party and even a trip to the museum and the beach. Aside from the useful everyday items, these books also incorporate many children’s favorite things; airplanes, dinosaurs and even fairy tale characters… These books also include supplementary material—a picture/word matching game, a learning to count page, identifying shapes, opposites, the weather, time, and a comprehensive index.”

When I looked through First Spanish Words my initial thoughts were that this book was doable and not so overwhelming. On each page you’ll find a large, two-page spread illustration based on a theme with vocabulary words on both sides. For example on the Nuestra clase page there are only 18 vocabulary words. In similar books I’ve seen as many as 35-40 which can be quite overwhelming to a child learning a new language. (In total there are over 400 words with English translations.)

Also, I really love the illustrations which invite you to use the new vocabulary—either make up stories about the characters and scenes or play games. For instance, I could see a parent and child playing ¿Dónde está… ? (Where is… ?), ¿De qué color es… ? (What color is… ?) or Veo-veo (I Spy). For more advanced students, you could even make up an entire story to go along with the illustration… Había una vez…

In addition to Spanish, Oxford Press offers the First Words Series in French and German as well.

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