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Learning Letter Identification Activities for Bilingual Learners

Learning letter identification is probably the beginning step to knowing Spanish. Each letter in the Spanish alphabet combine with syllables to create different words.

That is, knowing beginning letters is the precursor to acquiring vocabulary and stepping into reading. With fun letter identification activities and games, young bilingual learners learn while playing.

Learning Letter Identification Tips

While there are many ways to introduce Spanish letters, holiday themes generate curiosity and enthusiasm to learn more. For instance, use heart shape syllable clip cards to distinguish between Spanish syllable segments and phonics.

Then, you can add other elements like reading short sentences, pointing out the words in books, singing your favorite song, or nursery rhyme. Besides, you can use different tools like rhymes, poems, or short clapping chants to help with letter identification.

For example, use a classic nursery rhyme like Mary Had a Little Lamb to model and teach letters. You could use a fun game of where is the little lamb, felt boards with cutouts, or simply singing the rhyme.

Next, each time you sound out a specific word, point to those letters. Then, you might want to use anchor charts, word walls, Spanish syllable clip cards, or task cards.

After many exercises of learning letter identification, begin with some simple dual language texts or stories. 

Learning letter identification

Activities for Spanish Letter Identification

The bilingual holiday story, The Merry and Adventurous Polar Bear, creates an excellent opportunity for children to learn Spanish letters. While the bilingual text in English and Spanish is a fun story, take a moment to identify specific letters.

For instance, what letter makes the ‘o’ for ‘oso’ (bear). Then, you can correlate that sound to other holiday objects like ‘ornamento’ (ornament). The letter identification worksheet has more practice.  

Materials:

  • Free letter identification and bilingual story
  • Optional: sheet protector or transparent pocket
  • Dry-eraser markers
  • Eraser for dry-erase markers
  • Construction paper or card-stock paper
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue

Instructions:

  • Read the Merry and Adventurous Polar Bear bilingual story
  • Discuss ways to use bilingual vocabulary and story components
  • Use the letter identification to emphasize vocabulary or terms
  • Paste the letter identification printable on sturdy paper like construction paper
  • Cut the individual letters and set them aside
  • Optional: cut and paste each beginning letter to each word
  • Match the beginning letter to each term
  • Point out the image in English and Spanish
  • Then, place the letter on the sheet 
  • Optional: use phonetics for each letter as you say the Spanish term
  • Use the video to help with phonetics and pronunciation

In summary, use holiday themes to engage students in learning letter identification. Activities can consist of quick five-minute tasks.

However, you can extend these simple exercises to longer reading passages. That way, you can use multiple interactive activities to coordinate different levels of learning. 

To sign up for the holiday reading challenge, please see the Holiday Bilingual Reading Activities and Stories for more details.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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