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don’t mix ART and Spanish. Yes, DO IT.

May 19, 2010

One of the reasons I started my vamostodos business was because it gave me the advantage of not only helping kids (and adults) learn Spanish, but it gave me the freedom of teaching them that through ART they could also communicate.

As the years have gone by I am stunned to see not only the results in the Spanish development of each of my students, but also the way in which each one of them visualize, conceptualize, and bring to life their thoughts.

So here, I am presenting you with a few things for you to consider if you are: teaching/learning Spanish, or any other language for that matter.

If you are TEACHING,

5 excuses I’ve heard of why you should NOT use ART when teaching Spanish (or any language) to kids

1. Its messy

2. Its expensive

3. Its time consuming

4. We must save our planet’s resources

5. It will never be hung

Now, 5 reasons why you SHOULD use ART when teaching kids

1. Its messy – you don’t have to create a mess to make a piece of art, but sometimes depending on the age group you are teaching, it will happen. Often times this happens if you are not in control of the activity, so, i.e. retain all art materials and pass them one by one to the students. Now, take things as language and vocabulary opportunity to teach about how to ask for things, name of art materials, asking for help cleaning up, and colors in Spanish, just to name a few.

2. It doesn’t have to be expensive – the great thing about art is that it can be done with a variety of elements. From napkins to newspaper, magazine cut outs to old photographs. The challenge for you is to be CREATIVE in how you use what you have at hand.

3. Its time to experiment and practice – teaching/learning a new language while creating art is an exciting adventure.  You are putting two forms of communication into action. Include new words or phrases learned into your creation. Make a collage of it. Paint a word, design something for the phrase you just learned. Have students write words in paper and then paste them on a single paper square. The ideas are endless.

4. Utilize our planet’s resources wisely – instead of teaching your students to sketch and change paper every time they make mistakes, help them understand the importance paper has for us and the environment.  Provide a single piece of paper per student and encourage them to make the best of it. Mistakes are welcomed, but use them as part of the over all art piece. Mistakes will often lead to greater discoveries.

5. Their art is priceless – The art work that kids make during their early years in life is crucial to their future.  They will never replicate the same drawing.  The early works of most artists are among the most valued pieces.

If you are LEARNING as an adult:

10 excuses I’ve heard of why you should NOT use ART when learning Spanish (or any language)

1. Its messy

2. I’m to old to make a mess

3. They have nothing to do with the other

4. Its expensive

5. Why spend so much money on materials

6. Its time consuming

7. I have a job, you know.

8. We must save our planet’s resources

9. It will never be hung in a gallery or museum

10. I don’t even go to galleries

5 reasons why you SHOULD use ART when  learning Spanish (or any language)

1. Its messy – part of the fun about ART is to experiment with new art mediums. So this is your opportunity to let things be. After all, cleaning up is not a bad thing if you are enjoying yourself in the work being created.  To this day I’ve known just a handful of artist who where methodically clean as they worked on their art pieces.

2. It doesn’t have to be expensive – the great thing about art is that it can be done with a variety of elements. From napkins to newspaper, magazine cut outs to old photographs. The challenge for you is to be CREATIVE in how you use what you have at hand.

3. Its time to experiment and practice – learning a new language while creating art is an exciting adventure.  You are putting two forms of communication into action. Include new words or phrases learned into your creation. Make a collage of it. Paint a word, design something for the phrase you just learned. Have students write words in paper and then paste them on a single paper square. The ideas are endless. Go to http://www.ffffound.com for ideas and inspiration

4. Your art work is valuable – The art work that you start, and finish…give it to a friend, girlfriend, spouse, mom, dad…the point is to create something that relates to what you are learning. To make it practical for yourself, to help you step out of your comfort zone, to think inspire you to think like a designer by searching for visual solutions to a word, or phrase. To help you see things from a different perspective.

5. I will expand your knowledge – Not only will you be learning Spanish but you will learn more about art techniques, mediums, papers, ways of communicating through both.

Conclusion

Spanish is a language spoken by nearly 329 to 358 million people.  Art is a language spoken world wide. This is why I teach both hand and hand.

It is just a matter of you taking the time to do it, and to stop making excuses for not getting things done….which now that I think about it, this leads me to think that one of my next blogs will have to be about time management in learning a language 🙂

Do you have any other ideas? Are you opposed to Art and Spanish together?

Until then, spread the word, join the conversation, and let’s learn together.


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