Internet: Help for Spanish-Speaking Families Is Just a Click Away

by Judith Maginnis Kuster

Across the rural south central Minnesota area where I live, school districts have large enrollments of children whose first language is Spanish. These communities are not large, urban areas like Miami or Los Angeles, nor are they in border states like Arizona or Texas. Instead, they are Midwestern towns with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants: St. James, Madelia, Sleepy Eye, LeCenter, Worthington, Wilmar.

The local demographics reflect a nation trend: burgeoning populations of Spanish-speaking families and clinicians in need of bilingual resources related to language and literacy development. The Internet is exploding with information; this column takes a look at a few of the Spanish-language resources that focus on language and literacy issues.

General Information and Material

Qué es el Lenguaje? Qué es el Habla?" is ASHA's information about speech and language, designed for consumers, in Spanish. It includes links to ASHA information about stuttering, voice disorders, aphasia, and language-based learning disabilities.

  • "Trastornos del Habla y Lenguaje" (Speech and Language Impairments), a disability fact sheet from the National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities Speech and Language Impairments (January 2011), includes tips for parents and teachers.
  • Jennifer Taps Richard's SLPaths site requires registration, but is free. Access many assessment and treatment materials (use the key "Spanish"), including assessment of Spanish phonology, phonological assessment and treatment target identification, parent questionnaire, family handouts, stimulability task information, and sound acquisition documents. Materials also are available in English and Vietnamese.
  • SuperDuper has more than 350 free parent-teacher educational "Handy Handouts" available in Spanish (and also English) on various topics.
  • Enchanted Learning's Spanish theme page contains information, quizzes, worksheets, and printouts and a Spanish-to-English picture dictionary.
  • Qedoc features interactive learning resources that center on quizzes. Learning modules are available in several languages, including Spanish, on grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and accents.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers is a huge site where teachers share materials, many of which are free. Use the keyword "Spanish" to uncover many flashcards and PowerPoints for vocabulary and grammar, as well as a document with basic greetings, leave takings, introductions, and questions/responses for working on pragmatics.
  • Study Spanish has Spanish tutorials on pronunciation, grammar (including online verb drills), vocabulary, and idioms.
  • Jill Kerper Mora online instructional modules includes strategies for teaching concepts and vocabulary, a sequence of phonics instruction, guided story construction, and more.
  • Colorin Colorado is a bilingual site in Spanish and English for families and educators. This extensive site holds many treasures including excellent information on pre-reading skills.

Assessment Materials

  • Spanish Phrasing Book for SLPs [PDF, 85.4MB], by Dorothy Miranda Esckelson and Adulfa Aguirre Morales, provides SLPs "with language to use with their Spanish-speaking students and their families" related to articulation/phonology, hearing, language, stuttering, and voice disorders.
  • Resource Library from SpeechPathologyCEUs.net has extensive materials including comparing phonological processes norms for Spanish and English, charts comparing Spanish and English phonemes, a list of Spanish speech and language evaluations, articulation norms in Spanish and English, and more.
  • A Lexical Norms Database provides word frequency for English and Spanish vocabulary comprehended and said by infants and toddlers.
  • Communication Matrix is "an assessment tool designed to pinpoint exactly how an individual is communicating and to provide a framework for determining logical communication goals." It is available in several languages, including Spanish.

Treatment/Informational Materials

Washington Learning Systems provides language and literacy materials and ideas including on-the-go resources in several languages and resources for infants and preschoolers in Spanish and English. The materials are designed to address language development, phonological awareness, and general print awareness.

Online Libraries

  • Story Place has a preschool and elementary children's digital library in Spanish (also in English) and has both a preschool and elementary library.
  • In "Here, Clifford!" (Spanish), a Spanish-language Clifford interactive storybook, early readers decide what Clifford is up to by completing sentences.
  • Spanish Space from Little Book Lane has illustrated reproducible readers.
  • Cody's Cuentos produces free podcasts of classic fairytales and children's poems translated into Spanish and read by a professional storyteller.
  • Biblioteca Digital Internacional para Niños is the Spanish-language section of The International Children's Digital Library of outstanding children's books from around the world.

Vocabulary

Grammar

These resources focus especially on language and literacy issues. Additional materials are readily available online that focus on resources for clients with other communication disorders.

Judith Maginnis Kuster, MS, CCC-SLP, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and 18, Telepractice. Contact her at judith.kuster@mnsu.edu. Visit www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/leader.html for an archive of Kuster's columns.

cite as: Kuster, J. M. (2012, October 30). Internet: Help for Spanish-Speaking Families Is Just a Click Away. The ASHA Leader.