Spanish: Hidden English ABC Treasures Waiting for Discovery

When the goal is to teach Latino kindergartners the ABCs as fast as possible, why choose English pictures and names for activities as examples? Instead, using the names of classmates from Spanish-speaking homes has an immediate and lasting value.

There exists one huge opportunity for parental support on this early subject matter.  ABC progress is directly based on comparisons to reference charts consisting of examples like “A is for APPLE.” Parents at home can easily prepare students for the ability to make comparisons. They can ask questions like, “Do Pedro and Patricia begin alike?”

The ABCs phase of kindergarten needs parents, who can help connect the ABCs to examples, such as R is for Ramon or M is for Maria. Parents can assist students to begin to recognize which names begin alike in groups such as Pedro, Pablo and Mario.

Could it be that Latinos do poorly in kindergarten with the ABCs because an asset they possess (a bundle of English letters) is not appreciated by their teachers and parents? Latino parents can support ABC instruction at home through the use of simple examples. Knowing Spanish has a positive ABC side but the need for Hispanic parental ABC support is currently overlooked.

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