I am an English speaker living in the US. I have some knowledge of Spanish, but I am very rusty. I would like to start a Spanish playgroup to expose my toddler son to Spanish. It would also give me a chance to brush up and give us an opportunity to make some new friends. There are several Spanish-speaking families at my church that may be interested in participating. I am just thinking out loud here and these are my questions:
1. I am wondering about the benefits of only minimal exposure (an hour or so once or twice a week). I am thinking that it probably will not amount to much (language-wise), but it can’t hurt, right? My son is just starting to say words in English. I've read about the benefits of extensive early exposure, but what about just limited early exposure. Anyone have experience they care to share?
2. I am also considering if it would be better to have the playgroup be a two way immersion group or just Spanish. Most of the Spanish-speaking parents that will be attending do not speak English. Would it be better to do only Spanish since English is the dominant language or would it be more beneficial for everyone if we did TWI?
3. If we did TWI, I was thinking we could do 30 minutes of Spanish play (lead by a native speaker) and 15 minutes of English play (lead by me) or would it be better to incorporate the two languages at the same time? I am thinking the later would be easier for the parents, but more confusing for the kids.
If anyone has done something similar, I’d love to hear how you structured the group. If you did TWI did you have equal numbers of families that spoke the dominant and minority language? Did you give equal time to both languages? I’d appreciate any suggestions or guidance.
Finally, I am in central Arkansas. If anyone happens to be interested.