Spanish Language Learning Materials

Table of Contents

Spanish Language Learning Materials

When we think of Spanish Language Learning Materials, we tend to think of text books and their accompanying audio and video recordings.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Indeed, I recommend Spanish course books in my main Spanish Tuition post.

I think that for most people a well organised Spanish language book is a essential anchor.

Our language method is guiding us through the stages of language acquisition.

However, I am a great believer in supplementing the excellent books with other materials.

Why do I do this?

Let me try to explain it this way.

All of our study in done in a classroom environment under the direction of a qualified Spanish language teacher.

Now, the fact is we do not usually get our hands on Spanish material that was never designed for study.

I mean quite simply things that you might pick up while in Spain.

Perhaps the first time we see such things is when we are in Spain, following our academic study.

Text books do of course try to show photos and images of such materials.

The Difference between learning a new language and acquiring our own language

Clearly, learning a new language is not the same as acquiring our own language from birth.

I do not think that it is helpful to try to think of both language acquisitions in the same way.

However, that does not mean to say that we cannot do something to try to bridge the gap.

Our own language from birth comes to us due to being surrounded by and emersed in that language.

Although you can find emersion courses, often held as a kind of summer camp, it is not always practical to attend these.

If you can, of course, then that is great.

See, Hear, Touch, Smell, Taste

I will not be getting weird here at all.

My Spanish teaching approach is very down to earth and I have never gone along with some of the ‘innovative’ approaches that have been popular.

My students need to feel comfortable so that they can enjoy their Spanish lessons.

This section is really just as an interesting discussion topic.

My idea is that if a baby for example hears the word ‘milk’ and at the same time smells milk, tastes milk, touches milk and sees milk.

The word milk is in fact just a small part of the baby’s language acquisition.

All of these sensory inputs are working together to provide an understanding of environment and life.

So, my theory is that the total experience reinforces and supports vocabulary acquisition.

Using such stimuli in the adult Spanish language learning environment.

Clearly, there are limits to how much we can do and the last thing I want is to be silly about things.

However, let us look at this example of language teaching to children.

You want to teach anatomy vocabulary: head, eyes, nose, mouth, arms, hands, fingers, knees, toes.

There is a little game you can play. 

Everyone standing.

Teacher says head and touches head.

Pupils repeat head and touch their heads.

Teacher says eyes and points to eyes.

Pupils repeat eyes and point to eyes.

Second time round teacher and pupils do it all together.

Yes, this game is appropriate for children, but we absolutely are not going to do it in an adult Spanish teaching environment.

The key here is that the vocabulary is not acquired only by reading words on a page.

The activity makes the vocabulary more alive, more useful.

The idea is to see the vocabulary in action.

Thus, if we want to teach adult Spanish learners the vocabulary of hard, soft, heavy, light, rough, smooth we can show objects and pass then around.

In so doing the words become associated with objects.
It gives us a reason to want to know and use the word.

This reinforces acquisition and memory of the key words.

A List of real life Spanish language teaching aids.

O.K. here goes for a few ideas.

In the supermarket:

Labels on products

Information leaflets

Product signs

Large overhead signs (cannot bring these home but would be good to have an idea of what they may be)

Till receipts

In the restaurant:


Information on chalk boards

Text on bottle labels