I think it is funny when parents say their children are learning to speak Spanish while watching Dora. Yes, they are learning a few words here and there and sometimes some phrases in Spanish. I think this is a great thing for children and gives them some cultural awareness, but children are not learning how to really speak fluently in Spanish. There are some who think speaking only in Spanish is important and others who think it is okay to mix the two languages. I am a believer in complete immersion if at all possible. When I learned Spanish, by living in Honduras for 3 years as a teenager, I took classes that were only in Spanish. There was no English spoken. I started to think in Spanish. Kids will be able to speak with more fluency if they are not translating what they have to say from English to Spanish. They will be able to think and speak only in Spanish. In fact, if my kids ask me what a word means like "lobo", I try to explain to them what it is in Spanish or show them a picture instead of telling them it is a "wolf". Again, I think immersion is the best and the ideal. Immersion cannot be done in every situation. Those parents sending their kids to Spanish classes where English is spoken some is a great alternative. What are your thoughts?
I was kind of against Dora at first, but then I realized that you can dub all Dora movies completely in Spanish. This version is for kids in Spanish speaking countries to teach them a few words in English. Now we always dub Dora in Spanish and the kids get lots of great Spanish. I really love it because the characters speak very clearly and they are easy to understand. They do teach the kids a few English words in every episode. My 4 year-old gets a kick out of using English and Spanish and I don't think a little bit hurts.
Only some of the Dora episodes are dubbed in Spanish (Summer Explorer, Puppy Power, Dora Undercover, Dora's First Trip and Shy Rainbow) or buy special editions that are dubbed in Spanish that can be found here- http://www.spanishtoys.com/UDDora.asp
Another series we love to dub is Magic School Bus. They speak pretty fast and the vocabulary is more advanced, but my girls also like to watch these. I plan on using these more as they get older. For those with boys, Diego can also be dubbed completely into Spanish. I like Diego, but my girls prefer Dora.
*Most of these same videos can be dubbed in French also!
Hope this helps someone! Also, please tell me your thoughts on complete immersion versus mixing English and Spanish.