Can we just take a minute to appreciate the beauty of a family vacation? It can really be such an wonderful opportunity to reconnect with your kids without any pressure of homework or bath time. Sure, sibling bickering still plagues you and makes you wish an early death, even on the most beautiful of white sandy beaches, but at least it's acceptable to have a cocktail while doing so!
If you have a bilingual - or aspiring bilingual - kid, then family travel is even more exciting for you. And here are 5 reasons why!
1. Gives them a chance to use their language skills
The US is a melting pot of all kinds of cultures, and, despite what some people say, Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language and adds a rich cultural layer to our country.
Travelling to a Spanish-language country is an obvious solution, but in reality you can find Spanish in many, many places. Airports, train & bus stations are filled with bilingual signage and employees who'd be happy to help in Spanish. Most cultural attractions have bilingual signage as well as tour guides or self-guided materials that are bilingual. Restaurants and entertainment spaces in Latino-heavy cities are filled with Spanish language opportunities.
2. Gives them the chance to meet new people
Visiting a new place is such an exciting adventure for kids and can expose them to how other people live. Even a weekend getaway within a day's drive can open up their minds to new and exciting things.
Take the opportunity to start conversations with new people -- introduce yourself to people you encounter and see what happens. Don't hesitate to ask people "Do you speak Spanish?" and then encourage your child to ask them questions. Have you been to this museum before? What's your favorite restaurant in town? Do you live nearby? Being a "visitor" is a great excuse for connecting with people!
3. Exposes them cultures, foods, arts, music they've only learned about
Imagine travelling to San Antonio or San Juan and having the opportunity to see first hand historical or cultural attractions they've learned about in school. This exposure provides a real-world application to the cultural facts they’re learning along with developing their language skills.
Same is true for foods, arts and music they've heard about. Next time you're planning a family trip, talk to you Dual Kid about what they already know about your target destination and find ways to bring the learning to life!
4. Lets them see how much we have in common with others
The true power of language is to help us connect with others. What a better way to connect with others than to meet them in their own environment and see ourselves in them? To identify oneself in others helps us to understand that what makes us different can often be superficial. Help your child learn this first hand by connecting with people in the community you're visiting.
5. Gives them the chance to hear the language spoken by native speakers
Travelling to Spanish-speaking countries are a powerful way to expand your child's listening and comprehension skills. They can become used to the accents and speaking patterns of those in their classrooms. Visiting a Spanish-speaking country will expose them not only to different accents and patterns but also much faster speakers. This will force them to pick up even more of the language comprehension and truly enhance their learning.
And Speaking About Traveling:
Join us for the 2019 Spanish Immersion Vacation! Spanish-only camp for them, luxury resort for you! In beautiful Cancun, Mexico. Learn more!