Language Through The Five Senses

Have you ever noticed how much you take in about a new experience, job, or even person in your life through your senses? Language is no different, as a matter of fact, using all of our senses when learning a new language, such as Spanish, helps us absorb and retain it. We here at HOLA believe in the methodology of learning through the senses and have made it part of our curriculum.

Our Five Senses

Five senses one by one
inteligencia narrativa

From the time we are babies, we learn about the world around us through our senses. Often you’ll see small children bringing items to their mouths; this is how they discover the world —take in flavour, feel the texture, hear the sound it makes as they fidget with an item, smell the object as it comes closer to their face, and of course sight. Learning via our 5 senses is not something that disappears as we grow, we just aren’t as keenly aware.

The O and the L in HOLA stand for open learning, which means adopting and utilizing fun alternative forms of teaching Spanish. This modality of teaching is why we ask our students to experience new words they learn via their senses; take, for instance, peaches, we may ask the following questions from our students:

  • How does the peach feel?
  • How does the peach smell?
  • How does the peach look?
  • How does the peach taste?
  • What sound does the peach make when you bite into it?

Another example is a pen:

  • What is the texture of the pen and the tip?
  • Is the pen scented?
  • What does the pen look like?
  • Would you taste or bite a pen?
  • Does the pen make a sound when you tap it?

Multisensory Environment

Because we all learn in different ways, multisensory environments are ideal for learning, and more specifically, language learning. Some of us are visual learners; others are auditory; or tactile; therefore, teaching Spanish using all our senses allows our students to find the language accessible and enjoyable to learn. A multisensory learning environment makes learning inclusive instead of a rigorous and stressful endeavor.

Learning Spanish should be fun for children and people of all ages. More often than not, children taking Spanish courses are in these programs because their parents want to keep their heritage language alive. We want to make learning Spanish appealing and not a chore – this is why we embrace open learning in our courses. It allows for our students to have a multi-faceted experience. 

When we use our 5 senses to learn, it creates a full-body experience, and it increases understanding and communication not just about the topic at hand but about the world. Just as we do in the classroom, we invite you to talk to your child about their five senses. Doing so will strengthen the everyday experiences, especially if the heritage language is something they speak at home. As day-to-day matters naturally come up in conversation, make a point to bring up sight, taste, touch, smell, and sound.


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