Archive for the ‘Christmas in Spanish’ Category

Using Story Time to teach foreign languages- why should the elf not be on a shelf?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I am a confessed bookworm, as such, I have always kept books on my desk, after my teenage years they came in different languages and to suit my broad taste. I am trying to pass my legacy to my son, we love going to Barnes and Noble and picking out new books and he has a reading chart where he gets a new toy for every 30 days of reading!
Since books have been my best friend for as long as I can remember, they taught me so much! Made who I am! I owe my books so much! The fact that I am able to read English, German, Spanish and Portuguese classics in its original language is a priceless gift!
When planning my classes, I try to bring the joy to the children, specially the ones who can’t read yet, because I can’t always find Spanish and Portuguese books to match my units, but I can always find an English one and read them my way!
I have been using story time as one of the components for my class planning for as early as I can remember!
The key is to reduce Spanish Classics to meet baby’s short attention spam and one sentence page for toddlers is a must! After all, if you wish to make the experience fun, you must cater to your audience, otherwise the children will associate reading with BORING and my program is called Spanish made fun, not Spanish made boring!

So, I wanted to share some tips on how to make story time a powerful tool in your foreign language classroom, at your home, in your library story time, anywhere!

  • Chose the right book! Depending on what you trying to accomplish, your thematic unit or the age or all the above!!!
  • Reduce the amount of reading to suit your audience, early ages, short one word-3 word sentences, words will increase with age!
  • Pictures will help children understand your story better, so definitely lots of pictures when reading in a foreign language to non native speakers.
  • Bring stories which speak to their lives, to the things they know and love! Authentic shouldn’t always mean foreign, should mean close to their heart! I am against the thought that only authentic literature should be used when teaching a language.

This Holiday I changed my plans made in the summer for my holiday unit and incorporated the elf, el duende! Brought my story time to a whole new level, connected to the children like never before and brought the Spanish closer to their heart, so mission accomplished! I used the book The Elf on a Shelf™ in Spanish

I paired the book, which can only be found at Target online, with hide and seek, tell the elf (since he can’t talk) what you want for Christmas and Elf chat activities! My Spanish elf came in a darker color which creates a conversation about ethnicity I would never be able to bring to the classroom, if I did not have my special friend! Shared, that different is beautiful and we are all beautiful, no matter what language we speak!

I hope you enjoy our ideas and that you make the great decision to bring books when teaching a foreign language, it will inspire children to read, will open the doors to the fact that books speak that language as well, increase vocabulary and bring the fun to a whole new level!

Off course we talked about advent and Los Reyes in our Spanish classes and the shoes in Portuguese ones, but the elf was definitely the highlight and resulted that  I was invited to read the story 1000+ children in December, in the most popular Santa story times in our area, so it is all about sharing bilingual love!

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on using story time to teach or bring a foreign language to children and get your book, elf, out of your shelf and use it in your next bilingual experience!

Claudia Krusch

EasyLearn Languages Director

Speaker of 4 languages and teacher since 1998


Frosty the Snowman in Spanish

Friday, November 30th, 2012

We would like to share our brand new video with our song recorded in the studio for our classes and our readers! We used this video in our classes to show the children who have learned body parts, how we put a frosty together! We also put the parts which were cut and colored to make frosty as a craft!  Hope you enjoy!

A Christmas Journey

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Dear Readers,     

Instead of just sharing holiday posts with suggested activities like we normally do, I decided to share my personal discovery and journey through Christmas traditions of my own country, Brazil and Hispanic countries, when I research the topic to bring to my classes.

My first stop will be the Shoe on the Window tradition!

The story I was told when I was a child was that Santa would come at night and drop off toys in the shoes left on the window….because of the safety issues, we would leave them outside our doors and Santa would leave the toys!

There is a song which has remained in all my wonderful Christmas memories! Deixei meu sapatinho

So, to bring this tradition to my son, I explain to him, since it is warm in Brazil, there are no stockings, we have shoes and I ask him to place shoes outside his door and every Christmas morning, Santa leaves stocking stuffers in them, along with new slippers! Fun! Divertido!

Bilingual Gifts for Christmas

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

It’s that time of year and you are thinking, how can I sneak in some bilingual toys and make my child enjoy it and help him/her learn a foreign language at the same time???

Well, I looked around and will share some of my favorites!


Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book stores have a whole section of Spanish, French, Chinese or bilingual versions of classics like Dr. Seuss and others, so if you like adding books to your child’s list, this is a favorite way to share great moments and bring some bilingual fun to your child’s bed time or reading time!

I did not find Christmas Classics in foreign languages available in bookstores, trust me, I looked for it, but I believe you should look at your child’s preferences and classic stories. I wanted to share my activity book, which combines a cd which reads the story in both languages and suggestions on activities in each page!

Many other options are out there like Dora™, Curious George™,  and Other famous characters books!

You can also download them in your tablet or computer and have a paperless version of them or do a surprise dowload to your child’s tablet! My son loves comic books and character books, I have found some of his favorites in Portuguese and will download them into his tablet before Christmas!

Itunes has so many options!


It’s always a great way to connect with children! The holidays bring the magic of showing children favorite tunes in different languages!

I have this cd and we always play it on weekends and when we are decorating the tree!

I have a Brazilian Cd with songs in Portuguese with the character Monica, a famous comic book character in Brazil, but I could not find the link to share, I have found this one, not sure why it so hard to find music in Portuguese when you are here in the US! Sharing the songs and culture like the fact that South American countries don’t have stockings but shoes where Santa brings the toys and other traditions I will be sharing in a later post, will bring your child to a magic new world where America traditions are added to the new ones! Priceless!


Basically any movie you purchase nowadays, has the Spanish and French options, so your child can watch the movie in a foreign language. I would recommend showing them the movie in English first, unless they are totally fluent in the second language. You would be surprised how children sit down and watch the elf, Christmas Carol and Mr Magoo in Spanish and love it!  Brazil has a different zone for movies, so I purchase my dvds there when I go or in the store and load to my laptop as they will not play on my blueray/dvd player!


Dora, Elmo, Diego, so many toys are now offered with bilingual versions, Dora has a new gymnastics doll which sings in Spanish! So cute!


I ordered a shirt on vista print, it is green, long sleeve and it says Feliz Natal! Every year we have a tradicion to wake up in new jammies on Christmas morning and I ordered this shirt for $ 15,00 with the printing in red and will buy the pj bottoms and surprise my son with it! You can also place granparents pics and saying in a foreign language if your in laws or parents are from a foreign country or make the shirt your child/children’s pic in it, place the Merry Christmas in their native language and ship as a Christmas gift! Shipping of a shirt to a country like Brazil is only $ 4,50!

After all, it’s all about bringing the holiday cheer to your children, making the foreign language, a part of it!

Claudia Krusch

CEO of EasyLearn Languages


New activities on holidays in Portuguese and Spanish

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Dear Members,

I wanted to share some of my experiences in the past week with children in our Spanish and Portuguese classes!

Some interesting things happened when we asked children to make a lista de presentes or lista de regalos (gift list), one of our students told me that he didn’t need anything, he had everything and asked me how you say that in Spanish! Another student had a 20 item list and we spent the whole class, trying to have him say the gifts in Spanish….off course they came up with fuzzoodles, zuzu pets and other wierd names….I used my imagination to help them say those things in Spanish and Portuguese!

We also brought some cookies and had them decorate the cookies and place things on Santa’s plate (prato de papai noel/plato de papá noel). We also did a craft with cookies, chocolate and milk. We placed a plate on a coloring page, children cut the cookies, candy and candy cane and glued and colored it.

I also share with children that candy canes are not a Christmas treat in South America, gifts are placed in shoes on the windows in many countries and no real trees, just plastic ones! Weather is warm in South America, so people eat lighter meals!

I hope that brought more ideas to parents and educators on how to share holidays with children using a foreign language!

Merry Christmas!

Claudia Krusch

Easylearn Languages CEO

Christmas around the world – Spanish version

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Dear readers,

I’m so excited to start sharing some activities our instructors will be using at our Spanish classes in South Jersey!

First I would like to share a list of words, must have when you are teaching Christmas in Spanish:

Feliz Navidad! -Merry Christmas 

Christmas tree – árbol de Navidad

presents – regalos

sleigh – trineo

chimney – chimenea

the shepherds – los pastores

bells – campanas

peace – paz

ornaments – adornos

wreath – corona

For children who read, they will “decorate” the tree below with the words above ( cut them and have them glue them on the tree, saying the names in Spanish) Word find for older ones: Song/video for little and older ones:

I also have a line of bells, children will ring (repicar) and each time I stop in a different number of bells, they need to count them.

I read Santa Claus is coming to town in Spanish, I use the book in English and make 2 line sentences for each page. They know the story, so it becomes easier. I also use the video and turn in the Spanish mode for the dvd, I do that with frost the snowman and Rudolf too. We have a whole class, just with Frosty! I may share that later!

I also print colored balls and color cotton balls with paint and have them do a “snowball fight” and each ball touches another student, they need to tell me the color. Younger and older ones love it!

Google ” cascabel” and you will find the words for jingle bells in Spanish, there are three or four versions.

The one listed here on youtube is a little hard for little ones, so when we sing only, I use

Cascabel, Cascabel musica de amor

Dulces horas, gratas horas

Juventud in flor

Cascabel, Cascabel

Tan sentimental

No ceces o cascabel,

de repiquetear

I hope you enjoyed my ideas! Please share your experiences in using them here!

¡Feliz Navidad!

Claudia Krusch

EasyLearn Languages© CEO

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