HOLA! Let’s learn Spanish by Judy Martialay
¡HOLA! gives children 6-10 an early and fun start in learning Spanish. Parents can use it with their children, whether or not they know Spanish. Go to website http://www.polyglotkidz.com and download the audio. Follow the book along with the audio to learn the pronunciation. Kids take an imaginary trip to Mexico where they meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean. They follow his adventures while being drawn into the culture and learning Spanish. Activities follow to practice Spanish. They include a treasure hunt and a skit. Culture Corner give more ideas for practicing Spanish while learning more about Mexico, including the song for breaking a piñata. Children can follow directions for making a traditional Mexican Mask. Parents should go to Parents’ page on website for more advice on how to use the book.
About the author
Judy Martialay was born in Mount Vernon, New York, and received a BA from Mount Holyoke College and MA from Columbia University. She taught Foreign Language in elementary school, middle and high school. During and after retirement, she devoted time to public advocacy for foreign language education with the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers. Her dream is to give all children the opportunity to experience a foreign language, as early as possible. Judy has traveled to Mexico, France, Spain, Italy, Algeria, China, Ethiopia, Greece, Israel and other countries. She loves guitar, oil painting, and gardening. She is currently studying Japanese. She lives in Sea Cliff, N.Y. with husband Javier, has two daughters and one granddaughter.
This book comes in paperback and Kindle version with a website to play the audio for the entire book. I read and reviewed this book on a Kindle Fire.
Basic Spanish. If you’ve never heard a word of Spanish in your life than this book could be a basic introduction. It is recommended for grades 1-5. I would say a Kindergarten class could also use this book and up to an adult just starting to learn a couple of words in Spanish as a super easy introduction. The book was easy to read and follow. The audio on the website worked well and was quick to find and play. As a former language teacher myself and Spanish speaker there is nothing wrong with the Spanish. The book did a good job of focusing in on a couple of areas and basic vocabulary built around a story. It’s hard picking words since they are different from Spanish used in not only different Spanish speaking countries but also within a country. This book did a good job of using the words in an inclusive lesson with activities.
The book is short. The biggest detractor for me is that the audio CLICK HERE was not broken down into chapters. Even though minute markers were given there was no way to get to that particular point so you would basically have to listen to the audio from beginning to end every time. It would be necessary, especially for beginners to replay certain parts. This means you’d need a native speaker to use this book to get the pronunciation right.
There just isn’t much there. Though it would be a well-rounded, individual lesson I could only see this being used to see if someone would be interested in learning Spanish. Like a trial, this is what it sounds like and if you like it, jump into other material with a better foundation for learning a language.
The Spanish narrator was fine and the illustrations were simple and clear.