Brabyns Preparatory School Brabyns Preparatory School

Brabyns Preparatory School
Spanish Update

We are getting close to Christmas and I would like to take the opportunity and start this Newsletter wishing all you “Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo”.

I am really impressed how the children learn at Brabyns. For example, recently Year 6 were learning about some adverbs and adjectives looking at the suffixes and the pre-fixes in English. So I compared to some of the Spanish words and how actually we form and translate these words.

We looked at words like “frecuentemente, especialmente, necesariamente…” “frequently, specially, necessary…” I have included the rest, so you can have a look and get the full picture, and can you solve the Quiz? We asked the children what they could see in those words? They could easily spot the suffix used -ly and in Spanish the words ending in -mente. Also, they realised the words are similar.

I mentioned to them that we call them “Cognates”. There are around 3500 cognates Spanish – English. Cognates are not necessarily identical although they could be identical like “hospital, chocolate” pronunciation of course it is a bit different but if you like languages don´t miss to master this and take advantage of it! Apparently, some experts reckon that you can talk a language with 2500 words. Of course, we need to understand a bit of the language, how to construct sentences, how to pronounce words, but cognates are a bonus. I will invite you to sit down with your children and investigate this.

Year 6 have done a lot of work already this year covering different topics, learning some core grammar and hopefully some of the tips I have given to them can help them in the future to progress and master the Spanish language.

Look at some of the Spanish work they have done this School year so far and you would be able to see their workbooks at some time during the year.

In Year 1 and Year 2 at this age it is important to let the children imagine the words, let them compare with the stories that they already know from English. This is good for them and this is what I did myself to learn. So we imagine the words, we learn some of them, some others will be forgotten and even some of those forgotten might be remembered later. Some children will not even realise why they know them!

Are they coming from “La Gallinita Roja y los granos de trigo” “The Little red hen and the grains of wheat”, perhaps something the heard from “La caperucita roja” “Little red riding hood”, it could have been from “Ricitos de oro” “Goldie locks”, “Patito feo” “The ugly duckling” and “La bella durmiente” “Sleeping beauty”? Those were some of our stories this term and I hope they have enjoyed them as much as I did.

Years 1 and 2 have learnt some new vocabulary. Ask them and you may be surprised what they know!

Thanks for all your support and once again Merry Christmas.

Señor Infante

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