Dear Teachers and Parents:
Use a reward system to entice your students to speak Spanish. For example, when my own children were toddlers, I would model for them how to ask for a cookie or an apple in Spanish. They would have to ask for the food they wanted in Spanish in order to receive it. After a very short time they began asking for all of their food in Spanish. It was pretty simple. To outsiders it sounded like they were speaking a ton of Spanish but in reality they were repeating the same phrase over and over and simply plugging in new food vocabulary. My young kids “cracked the code”!
The same can be done in the classroom. In order for a child to receive crayones, stickers, treats, anything, make sure they ask for it in Spanish. Help them at first but as soon as they hear their classmates asking for items in Spanish and they hear you repeating the phrase over and over with each student, they will catch on. Below see a phrase you can teach your students so they can politely ask for things. After teaching this useful phrase, insist (with your help) that the children always ask for things in Spanish. This alone will increase the amount of Spanish spoken in your home or classroom by leaps and bounds. Children ask for things throughout the day, now they will be speaking Spanish everytime they ask for something!
¿Me das __________, por favor? (This means "Could you please give me __________?)
(Meh dahs __________, pohd fah-bohd?
Author, Teach & Learn Spanish