Building Fluency in Spanish
The feeling of accomplishment that comes with a child’s first steps toward a learning a second language inspires deeper and broader passion for learning in general. And because young children are at a special window of opportunity in which language learning is intuitive and natural, the ease and pleasure of the experience boosts their confidence and their desire for new discoveries.
Parker has made several innovations to the modern Spanish language program, adding to students’ fluency and ease with the language and imbuing them with cultural appreciation.
Erin Wallace, our Spanish teacher, is spending several sessions a week in the Pre K rooms, speaking solely in Spanish. The preschoolers delight in “that Spanish lady’s” visits, mimicking her words, songs and stories, and in one case, trying to teach her English! She also accompanies them during Muddy Boots Club outdoor time, when students quiz her about how to say all things in the woods in Spanish.
Erin has increased Spanish classes from 2 to 3 periods per week in fourth and fifth grade and is hosting monthly Spanish-speaking lunches. Spanish speakers from the Parker community are invited as guests.
In the spring of 2013, Parker hosted several middle school students from St. Peter’s School in Barcelona and their families are anxious to reciprocate. Erin is organizing a cultural visit for grades 6, 7 and 8 to Barcelona during our February break. Ten to twelve Parker students and two teachers will stay with families from St. Peter’s, attend school and tour the city sights. They will present a program about Parker and Albany, representing their school and country in this rich cultural exchange.