My Dear Friends, Fellow Linguists, and Citizens of the World:
Welcome back! As we look forward to the start of another school year, I thought I would share a quick post of frequently asked questions. For any new families, I am the Spanish teacher for grades PK-4.
NOTE: Students typically address me as “Maestra” (‘my-ACE-trah’/teacher) or Señorita M., (Miss M), but I am also called “Spain” and “Español” (Spanish) from time to time. Feel free to clarify this at home with your child.
- What is the painted staircase image about?
- The photo above is of Beautiful Painted Staircases Inspired by Andean Textiles in Lima, Peru. I love photography, and like to use striking, high resolution images to spark discussions and inspire creative thought.
- Why did you start with that?
- I wanted to start here because if there is any conversation that you have with your child(ren) about Spanish class before school begins, please remind them that–much like climbing an enormous staircase or mountain–language-learning is a journey. Fluency does not occur overnight. It is a process where, after many successes, failures, and moments of uncertainty, coupled with much determination, grit, and hard work, progress is made. If your child can learn just one new thing each day in class, they will be well on their way.
- What curriculum do you use?
- I use a variety of curricula to teach language. From gesture- based storytelling methodologies (such as AIM and TPRS), to culture projects, geography, center work, science experiments, soccer games, theater, and more, we cover a lot of territory in Spanish class. For more info, see THIS PAGE.
- ASIDE: You may also hear about “Pato” (duck), a mischievous stuffed animal duck of mine with a big personality (and squeaky voice), who is always on some silly adventure.
- How much Spanish do you speak in class?
- My goal is to speak Spanish 95-100% of the time; however, I can get sidetracked with sharing cool culture projects in English and adore goofy English/ Spanish wordplays (especially as mnemonic devices to ingrain vocabulary!). This year, we are physically dividing the space, so “English” tidbits will be taught in the hallway outside of my classroom, and everything else inside my room will be in Spanish.
- Do you only teach about Spain?
- Definitely not! There are 21 official Spanish-speaking countries. Students in grades 1-4 become familiar with these country names and participate in Culture Projects throughout the year.
- What can I do at home to help support my child?
- Encourage, encourage, encourage!
- Point out the names of Spanish- speaking countries on t-shirts tags, fruit stickers, can labels, warranties, manuals, and bilingual signs out in public.
- Make/ bake RECIPES from Spanish-speaking countries.
- Visit the children’s world language section at the library.
- Listen to Spanish tv and radio, for the sole purpose of appreciating foreign sounds– no comprehension necessary.
- Change the voiceover on movies to Spanish (and subtitles to English).
- Explore Little Passports & Universal Yums!, which are fun, educational, world-culture subscription boxes that your child might enjoy.
- Incorporate the language and culture into your daily life!
- Encourage, encourage, encourage!
- If I want to learn Spanish alongside my child, what resources do you recommend?
And last but not least, for anyone wondering why you should learn another language, please read THIS for a hearty laugh.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and see you soon!
Your Resident Linguist ❤
~aka Maestra aka Señorita M. aka Spain