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Help! I need help speaking with students and parents!

 

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  #1  
Old October 15, 2017, 04:00 PM
1stgradeteacher 1stgradeteacher is offline
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Exclamation Help! I need help speaking with students and parents!

Here are phrases I wish to learn in Spanish so I can better communicate with my students and families that speak Spanish:

1. Do you understand the homework?
2. Practice the spelling words every night
3. Do you have any questions about homework?
4. You worked really hard on that, good job!
5. Raise your hand to answer the question please.
6. What do you want your child to learn?
7. Do your parents read with you at home?
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  #2  
Old October 15, 2017, 09:26 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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I'm glad you want to reach out to students and families that speak Spanish, but can say without reservation that you'll be quite frustrated when you don't have the correct words to use and when you don't understand a reply.

For example, the English subject pronoun 'you' can be used to reference a single individual, more than one individual or no one in particular (impersonal). Spanish has three (reduced to two if your student/family is not from Spain) different persons where only one is used in English, and you'll be expected to select the correct one. You'll also be expected to know which one of the three (or two) verb conjugations to use, as the verb ending must agree in person and number with the subject. Which person you use (second- or third-person, formal or familiar) and how many are being addressed/referenced, matters a great deal.

When 'you' is used as a direct object or an indirect object pronoun, or as a prepositional pronoun, you'll be using different words in Spanish (most don't match the three (or two) subject pronouns).

Usually, a teacher will address a child in one way and his parent in another. If more than one person is being addressed, the formal version of the word 'you' will most likely be used.

Gender is also very important in Spanish. Adjectives and participles must agree in gender with the individual being addressed or referenced. This is as important as choosing the proper person and number.

Learning how to use Spanish correctly will not be a walk in the park ('a walk in the park' is an idiomatic expression in English; therefore, the Spanish equivalent cannot be translated word-for-word).


Don't get me wrong; the student or family member will be very happy to see that you're trying to speak their language, but will be frustrated when communication breaks down in just a matter of minutes.

I'll provide a translation for each sentence you proposed, with the understanding that the person (addressed/referenced, formal or familiar) is a specific individual, the number (singular or plural), and/or the gender (male or female) may change depending on the situation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stgradeteacher View Post
1. Do you understand the homework?
1. ¿Entiendes la tarea?
(The first word is the conjugated form of 'entender' (understand). Its ending '-es' conveys person and number ('', 'you' familiar, singular). An upside down question mark always introduces a question in written Spanish.)


2. Practice the spelling words every night.
2. Practica las palabras de ortografía todas las noches.
(The first word is the command form of 'practicar' (practice). Its ending '-a' conveys person and number ('', 'you' familiar, singular). The accent mark above the vowel in the fifth word indicates where the word is stressed, because it differs from the norm. This is very important in written Spanish.)


3. Do you have any questions about the homework?
3. ¿Tienes preguntas sobre la tarea?
(The first word is the conjugated form of 'tener' (have, possess). Its ending '-es' conveys person and number ('', 'you' familiar, singular).)


4. You worked really hard on that. Good job!
4. Trabajaste muy fuerte. ¡Buen trabajo!
(The first word is the conjugated form of 'trabajar' (work). Its ending '-aste' conveys person and number ('', 'you' familiar, singular) and tense (past, completed action). Note the upside-down exclamation point. That's expected in written Spanish.)


5. Raise your hand to answer the question, please.
5. Levanta la mano para contestar, por favor.
(The first word is the command form of 'levantar' (raise). It is conjugated in the second-person, singular form. If there is more than one Spanish-speaking student in the class, the ending must be changed to the third-person plural form '-en' instead of '-a' (if the students are from Spain, the second-person plural ending is '-ad').)


6. What do you want your child to learn?
6. ¿Qué quiere que aprenda su hijo?
(The first word means 'what' and must have an accent mark in written Spanish. There are two clauses in the question, so two verbs are expected. The literal translation is 'What do you want that your child learn'. The conjunction 'that' is used to introduce the second clause, which has to contain a verb in the subjunctive mood (rare in colloquial English, but a must in Spanish) because the first clause contains a verb of volition. The first verb is a conjugation of 'querer' (want). Its ending '-e' conveys person and number ('usted', 'you' formal, singular). If there are two parents, change the ending to '-en'.
The second verb is the subjunctive mood form of 'aprender' (learn), conjugated in the third-person (referencing the child), singular form.
If the child is a girl, change 'hijo' to 'hija'.


7. Do your parents read with you at home?
7. ¿Tus padres te leen (en casa)?
(The verb at the end is the conjugated form of 'leer' (read). Its ending '-en' agrees in person and number with 'padres' (parents).Likewise, the first word. The word 'te', is an indirect object pronoun, meaning 'to you'.
A dictionary will help you find words, but only if you know how the word is used (like the noun 'trabajo' (job)). When used as a verb, that same word means 'I work'. If you change the ending to '', it means 'he/she/it/you(formal) worked' and you may need to supply the appropriate subject pronoun to clarify which subject was intended. (None of the sentences you posted require subject clarification, so no subject pronouns appear in the translations.)

Verbs are only listed in their infinitive form (like 'trabajar') in the dictionary. You'll need another resource to arrive at the correct conjugation. Here is a good resource.

Have fun in the journey!

Last edited by Rusty; October 15, 2017 at 10:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old October 15, 2017, 09:48 PM
1stgradeteacher 1stgradeteacher is offline
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Thank you so much! You are a life saver!
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:12 PM
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You're welcome!
We're here if you have questions.
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