As a parent, we sometimes must render a little extra help to our children with their homework; and essays can be especially tricky. More so if you do not speak the language. Thus, to help you master the art of editing and proofreading your children’s Spanish essays, even when you are not a native speaker, I have come up with a few simple steps.
When it comes to children tasks, writing in Spanish has a lot more to do with correctly following a structure than it has to do with understanding the language. Before we can dive in, it is a good idea to have a clear overview of how take a proper Spanish essay looks like with this Spanish essay example.
Now, when helping your children write an effective and cohesive essay, follow these simple steps:
1. Choose a viable subject
Before letting your kids start writing, you should ensure that they have chosen a viable subject. Why? Simple. Children often choose subjects that are either too broad (making it difficult to keep their essays succinct) or too complicated (making them harder for them to develop their ideas effectively).
2. Help them research the topic online
The Internet opens the door to a world of possibilities. But, it is also a pool of misinformation and “fake news.” Hence, when helping your children write their Spanish essay, it is crucial that you help them research the topic at hand.
Begin by making sure they are using only credible and reliable sources. The best way to determine whether a source is reliable is by checking its accuracy, authority, currency, and coverage.
I always recommend starting with online encyclopedias, scholarly databases, and official websites. Online newspapers and magazines can also be a great source of information;although, you should keep in mind that these can be biased.
3. Aid them in structuring their ideas with an outline
Outlines are the best way to help your kids organize their thoughts and ideas before putting them into writing. Make sure you go over all main arguments with them, and that they have enough information to back them up.
The outline does not need to be overly complicated. A simple bulleted list will suffix.
4. Let them write!
Undoubtedly, the easiest step!
Given that you do not speak the language, you must encourage your children to write based on what they know or have learned in school. Thus, give your child space. Allow them to exercise their writing muscles on their own.
5. Go over the format
Even if you do not understand everything that is written, you can review the layout and style of the essay once it is done to make sure your child followed the basic formatting rules. Check for adequate use of margins, spacing, font size, and citing.
Pay special attention to the way your children are citing in Spanish. In English, unless the school requires a specific style, you can use the Modern Language Association (MLA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Chicago (which accepts both uses) styles interchangeably. But, when writing in Spanish, I recommend you stick to the APA style.