child learning Spanish
Thread poster: IspkEng

Local time: 04:46
Apr 23, 2007


If an English speaking child (6 years old) wants to learn Spanish, will he learn faster watching a Spanish cartoon with 1. no subtitles 2. English subtitles or 3. Spanish subtitles

He is a good English reader.


LilianaV (X)
Local time: 19:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
English subtitles might work best if the child can read well in this language Apr 24, 2007

Good evening:

I faced this dilemma two years ago with my son. We moved to a Spanish-speaking country (his native language is English). He had a very hard time with Spanish for approximately 2 months; then he made great progress and now is fluent in both languages.

Besides school and tutoring, television helped him. Listening to the shows in Spanish while being able to read the English subtitles helped him understand what the characters were saying. Also, it familiarized him with Spanish phonetics. I think it helped him learn the language faster.


megane_wang  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I he reads well... Apr 24, 2007

... subtitles will help him "catch" what the ear is still unable to identify in the context. But it is important that he is able to read well enough so that reading does not distract from listening.

Best luck!

Ruth @ MW


Maryse Trevithick  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
English to Arabic
+ ...
spanish cartoons Apr 24, 2007

Hi there,

I was faced with the same situation and found that watching Spanish cartoons helped a lot. Personally, I don't think that subtitles are very necessary in this case... It might help if you sit with him on a couple and make sure he's getting the idea ( that if you speak Spanishicon_wink.gif.

After two years now my son is giving me lessons in Spanishicon_smile.gif

Good luck


Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:16
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
subtitles not always helpful Apr 24, 2007

I'd suggest the same- maybe avoiding the subtitles if possible. You don't want the language acquisition to be based on "X means Y", but rather on a more intuitive, context based understanding of new words. The subtitles could actually be a block to learning without always translating (which is never a great idea, as any language teacher will tell you).


Claudia Aguero  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 18:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Without subtitles May 6, 2007

From my experience as an English teacher at university level, I have noticed that students do not make a lot of progress when reading subtitles in Spanish. They concentrate in reading and forget about paying attention to what is said.

I think it is better that people concentrate on listening the new language and try to match what they hear and see (the setting, actor's gestures, movements, even lip-reading) to understand the general idea. At first, they only grab a very general idea but each time they understand better what happens in the cartoon, program, whatever it is.


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child learning Spanish

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