Avoiding majority language creep

S is now four and a half and a confident communicator in both English and Spanish. Somehow despite my good intentions to provide a (mainly) Spanish-speaking environment at home, I’ve recently realised that we’ve amassed a lot of majority language media. Even though we speak Spanish at home nearly all the media we consume is in English, be that library books, music, YouTube videos or kids TV programmes and DVDs.  The start of 2017 has been a time to try to rebalance things towards our minority language.

  • Books and Magazines:
    • Bristol libraries do stock a few Spanish children’s books so we’ve started to work through them (although we still read regularly in English and borrow English library books too).
    • We have recently subscribed to Caracola, a Spanish children’s magazine for ages 4+.  This will introduce regular Spanish reading materials both fiction and non fiction.
    • We’ve also discovered a new Spanish playgroup called Estoy Aquí within walking distance! Unfortunately it takes place while S is at nursery but I’ve attended a couple of times with E who has enjoyed the music and toys. It will be great to meet more Spanish speakers who live locally and hopefully E will make some little friends. They’ve also started a book swap which I am hoping will take off.
  • Video:
    • I’ve bought a gift set of Disney films with Spanish audio and hope to expand our collection over time.
    • The library also has DVDs for hire at £1 a week. There are a fair few that have Spanish as a language option although there seems no rhyme or reason behind the language options which vary wildly.
  • Music :
    • I usually rely on local radio for entertainment while driving but have decided to make an effort to create some playlists of music in Spanish for us to enjoy together on the way to and from nursery.
    • I have also recently signed up to volunteer at the local library and will be running a weekly Spanish rhyme time. Last week was our first session with 12 parents and children attending. Join us at Knowle Library every Monday from 1.45-2.15 term time only. Ages 0-4. FREE

Do you find the majority language creeping into your home? What are you tips to helping create space for the minority language? I’d love to hear from you.


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