Teaching Spanish at Canticos

By Sophia Espinoza

At Canticos, we believe in starting little learners on a second language early, because it’s been proven that multi-language acquisition is easy and has lifelong cognitive and socio-emotional benefits when begun at a young age.

Little ones are like sponges and they can learn quickly and easily with the right tools. We believe that the most effective learning is  fun, hands-on, and joyful, especially in early childhood learning experiences. All of our products use research-based methods in playful learning and bilingual education to maximize engagement and second language acquisition.

Our pedagogical approach is proven. We follow many of the guidelines from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Underlying Principles of Second-Language Acquisition:

  • Learners are active parties in acquiring language.
  • There is individual variability, and learners acquire language at their own pace.
  • Language is best learned in a stress-free environment.
  • Learners have intuitive knowledge of language. The ability to use language often occurs before being able to verbalize it.
  • The learning experience/environment should be meaningful to the learner.
  • Language learning occurs when there is interaction with the digital and/or physical environment.
  • Language development is continuous.
  • The learning environment should be compatible with the student’s own way of learning.

We have built our app to deliver on all of these principles in the most accessible and fun way. Our app was designed to playfully teach children a variety of 21st century skills in English and Spanish, including foundational literacy, foundational math, feelings, everyday vocabulary, fine motor skills, and creativity. We use different teaching approaches in the different activities in the app:


Children are exposed entirely to their new language, with little to no support in their native language. This approach, though challenging at first, is very effective for learners of all ages. 

To optimize the language learning experience your child has with the app, we recommend you lock the app in Spanish mode if they are a native English speaker, and vice versa if they are a native Spanish speaker. This allows them to be immersed in their new language across all their activities. The app is designed to be intuitive so even if they don’t understand at first, they will quickly pick up the instructions and vocabulary in their new language.


Bilingual education uses both the new and native language together to build language skills. Rather than just teaching one language, both are taught simultaneously, which primes learners to make connections between the language they are familiar with and the new language they are learning. This whole-language learning process is excellent for teaching vocabulary in groups around a theme, e.g. the colors.

Some experiences in our app are bilingual and are customized based on each learner’s native language. For example, our videos are played to children in their native language first, followed by the new language. A combination of bilingual and immersion experiences eases children into a new language, making it easier and less overwhelming than immersion alone.

For more information on the Canticos app, please visit our website.

For more ideas on how to encourage your pollito to learn Spanish at home, see the Canticos blog.

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