The learning I'd like to share with you in this post has to do with rhythm and the reading of children's poems that I enjoy reading to my children. I love my job because I am constantly learning, learning is reciprocal with my students, and it is the same with my children.. Maria Montessori used to say that "the child is the teacher" and I often think how right she was.
They say that babies a few weeks old are able to recognize a song (among several) that was sung to them while they were in the womb. With none of my children I tried this experiment but, I wonder: what do they recognize? The rhythm? The intonation? Both?
What I have done on a regular basis is to read them poems and stories since they were very young. Never forcing them, of course, if they got tired or were not interested, I would move on to another one, or to another activity. \Follow the child", as Maria Montessori also said. Although I think it is true that learning should not be forced, it is true that constancy (and example) is a good tool to cultivate a taste, in this case, for reading. So there is not a day in which we do not read to our children.
One of the first books I read with my oldest son was an anthology of poems by Gloria Fuertes. We love Gloria Fuertes, she is super funny and it was a fantastic way to introduce humor into reading. There were several poems that grabbed his attention right away. At first, she would just listen and look at me and/or the pictures; around 18 months, she would finish every sentence from the last stressed syllable, i.e. if the sentence was "Bienvenida sea la risa", I would say: \"Welcome laughter" and he would follow: \"¡-sa!"; and at the age of two he would recite them with my help (in the language of a 2-year-old, of course).
For in those months when I began to repeat and produce the verses, I realized, even if he did not pronounce the sounds perfectly (one of his favorite poems was full of R's, which took a long time to appear in his speech, I will talk about this in another post). reproduced the rhythm to perfectionHe marked the syllables and the tonic syllables, in addition to intoning very well. That made it seem like he was reciting the poem even though you didn't understand everything he was saying, it was wonderful.. Gradually he polished the sounds and the poems were recited better and better.
And this is the practice I would like to share with you today: use one of Arón's favorite poems ("Versos con aja y eja" by Gloria Fuertes) to improve your rhythm and, at the same time, practice the characteristic phoneme /X/ of peninsular Spanish.. This phoneme is aspirated in much of the Hispanic world and fricative in most of Spain. To make it fricative, I tell my students to think they have snot in their throat and want to clear it (I know it can make you a little gross, but it works! 😀 ).
It is very important that you listen to the poem paying attention to the syllables and tonic syllables, that you mark them, that you "tatate" it, that is to say, if the phrase is "La feliz pareja", it would be "tataTA taTAta" "ooO oOo". Listen to this, "tatatea" and, when you feel you have the rhythm under control, listen and repeat.
At this link you can watch a video where I tell this story and where I read the poem at two speeds.
And in this link you can download a document with text and pronunciation activity. Follow it step by step, feel the rhythm. 🙄
Do you want to start speaking fluently, reduce your foreign accent or understand conversations?
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