flashsticks postcard

An introduction to Flashsticks – learning Spanish

I’d love to be fluent in another language.  After 7 years of French at school (at GCSE I found it easy, but A level traumatised me forever!), and a fleeting couple of years doing Spanish, my verbal language skills are pretty much limited to counting to 10 and asking the direction to the toilets.  The OH did no languages in school – supposedly the teacher told him he’d be better off learning English properly first!  But I’d love for N to start early and be comfortable on the spoken side of things as the confidence in speaking other languages was where I struggled.

flashsticks postcard

N already does French at his day nursery (La Jolie Ronde) and has previously done some at his nursery school with one of the mums who’s French, coming in to talk to the children.  So really becoming a #FlashStickBlogger should have meant choosing the French Flashsticks to try.  I decided however to leave nursery to it with French, and that we’d try the Spanish out instead.  Much more useful for holidays and speaking in future because there’s far more Spanish being spoken around the world than French.

flashstick packWe received our first beginner set of Flashsticks, and have duly started sticking a few up and learning the words.

If you’re not aware of Flashsticks they’re a great learning method to pick up quick vocabulary.  Essentially post-it style notes, printed with the word in Spanish, the translation in English, and the phonetic pronounciation.  Oh and not forgetting a little picture.

You can stick them around your home, matching the flashstick to the actual item.  So the flashstick for books or library could be stuck near the books, food on the fridge etc.

What’s ingenious about them is the way each note is coloured depending on whether the word is feminine (pink), masculine (blue) or a verb, adjective etc (green). Hopefully there won’t be a whole load of people moaning about pink representing a feminine word!  My view would be that it’s a great way to explain it and help it sink in.  I know I have no idea even though I’m now re-learning words as N brings home his French ‘homework’ prompt sheet, so hopefully the coloured Flashsticks will help remember the spanish.

Spanish Flashsticks - learning spanish - bubbablueandme

Because N’s learning Spanish along with me, I’m planning on putting up a few at a time.  Because he can’t read, it’s a case of making sure I keep talking and repeating them to him when we see them.    Of course, the OH would also have a moan if the whole house got stickered.  He’s not interested in learning, but maybe it’ll pique his interest.

flashsticks on the fridge

On top of the Flashsticks, there’s also a free app available for both ios and Android.  After downloading, you just create an account, then start scanning the flashsticks. Once you’ve scanned (I did find it took a while but maybe that’s just our lack of decent signal for mobiles and wifi speeds), you get the word come on the screen along with a person who pronounces it correctly for you.  N finds it highly amusing to see the lady pop up, so much so that it’s hard to quieten him down to hear her speak.

So far we’ve learnt good and bad – I’ve started doing funny actions and voices with it.  God knows what N will end up speaking spanish like, but at least it should help him remember it, if his method of learning phonics and French at nursery is anything to go by!  So we have a big thumbs up and happy voice for bueno, and a thumbs down and grumpy voice for malo.  And I’ve added various animals as well.  I’m hoping N won’t be too confused about animals in Spanish and French because he’s now learning the animals in both languages.

I’ve taken some Flashsticks into work as well although not having a permanent desk might prove a problem.  Maybe I’ll stick them inside my locker?

So we’ve started and every couple of days I plan to introduce a couple more Flashsticks to see how we go.  I’m not sure N finding Peppa Pig episodes en espanol on YouTube is going to help him learn!

Do you speak another language? Are your children learning?

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Disclosure:  I’m one of the #Flashstickblogger team, and received some Flashsticks to try out and review.

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    1. N quite likes them, but it’s hard to find space to stick them, and for him to be focused enough to be with me to read them. We’ll see how it goes. Definitely handy for extra vocabulary though

  1. These look such a fun idea for learning a new language. It’s something that I think I would like to start with my children. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  2. I took a few Spanish lessons, but somehow never really learned much apart from he usual “Que hora es?”And a few other sentences. I speak Filipino (I’m from the Philippines you see). My daughter knows a few words and would love for her to learn more. When my family visited last year, they brought some bilingual children’s books for her. I’m going to keep reading them, so she’ll learn more of my language too 🙂

    1. It’s great to get children learning early. I’ve a welsh friend, and she always tries to speak welsh to her children ever since they were babies. At the age of 4, the eldest is now bilingual – although welsh isn’t a helpful language in terms of breadth of use, it’ll help her ear get used to listening to different languages for future lessons at school.

  3. I actually teach French and Spanish at secondary school and these look great – I might have to get some for my classroom!

    1. They seem so simple, but I guess based on the idea of revision techniques they do work. I love the app with it – I’ve got a fairly good idea of spanish pronounciation of letters, but without that, it’s handy to have the spoken option as well.

      Thanks for stopping by Sarah.

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