I received a complimentary copy of ¡Sabor! for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
Raising our children to be bilingual is important to us, and we are always looking for fun ways to encourage language learning. So I was thrilled to receive a copy of the ¡Sabor! – a CD of Spanish learning songs from Whistlefritz – to review.
Music is such a wonderful way to learn language, as it makes it easy for children to absorb the rhythms and sounds of a language. Plus it keeps learning fun, particularly important when teaching a a child who may not want to learn a language just because his parents think it’s a great idea! In our experience lessons are learned best through play, especially with languages, since Monkey is often resistant to speaking Spanish. But he loves music and so doesn’t mind what language it is in, as long as it is fun!
And this music definitely is fun — The themes are ones that speak to children: “Juguetes, jugetes, Yo quiero jugar. (Toys, toys, I want to play.)” And what child wouldn’t agree that “no hay fiesta sin pastel (it’s not a party without cake)”?
The album features Spanish versions of a few classics that your children will already know – like “En el rancho de MacDonald” – but also new favorites. My kids love “Caminemos en el Bosque/Let’s Walk Through the Woods” – which features a wolf howl!
The music itself is also the type that you can’t listen to sitting still. The songs are also lively and upbeat, and the lyrics are interactive, encouraging the listener to make animal noises, shout out a response, or sing along.
Singer-songwriter Jorge Anaya takes the listener on a journey through a fusion of different world music styles, such as cumbia, salsa, calypso, and merengue. So not only is your child having fun, he is also absorbing some of the musical culture of Latin America along with the language.
As a non-native speaker, I really appreciate that the CD includes a booklet with the full lyrics, in English and Spanish. But this feature had an added bonus that I hadn’t anticipated! My reluctant Spanish speaker is also an emergent reader. He loves to read anything he can get his hands on, and thanks to ¡Sabor! he now spends our car trips reading the album lyrics in Spanish! Sometimes he reads it like a book (even when the music is off), and other times he reads it along with the music, exclaiming as he recognizes the words being sung.
I highly recommend this album, whether your children have already been exposed to Spanish or are just getting started. It is a fun way to encourage Spanish learning even for the most reluctant speakers! To see for yourself, you can listen to clips of the songs. For more on this award-winning line of language learning materials (not just Spanish but French, too!), be sure to visit their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.