In Spanish, our goal will be to acquire the language. “Acquiring” a language is a bit different than “learning” a language. Acquiring is something that happens to you naturally instead of something that you force to happen. When you learned how to speak your first language, you acquired it naturally by listening to other people speak it around you for a very long time; not by studying it. Therefore, the majority of our class time will be spent using Spanish and the focus will be on listening and reading instead of only speaking and writing. Those skills will be added in gradually with some guided practice. We will focus our time on the acquisition of high frequency structures and we will use these structure in class discussions, stories, cultural explorations, and students will be expeccted to recognize them when they read and hear them. In time students will be able to produce language as well through speaking and writing. It is an exciting journey and I look forward to supporting your childs learning!
Some Tips for STUDENTS!
Take RISKS: Speak Spanish NOT English. You'll need to take risks and try things that might make you uncomfortable. BE Brave! Everyone else in our class is working hard and taking risks too. Be kind to all!
Keep the FLOW: Listen Actively with your Eyes and Ears. Spanish class is not a spectator sport, and there will be no watching from the sidelines! We'll sing, make up stories, create gestures, and it is important that everyone participates and keeps the FLOW! It is also important that you don't' disturb the FLOW by spreading English, having side conversations or distracting/disrupting the class.
Don't Sink: The only time you are acquiring Spanish is when you are getting "comprehensible" input - that means that you are listening to (or reading) Spanish that you understand. If you are listening and you don't understand what is going on, you are not learning. If I say something that is unclear, please signal me! I will say it again slower, write the word and it's meaning on the board, or clarify. It is my job that you understand. We are in this together!
HOW DOES LANGUAGE ACQUISITION WORK?
Lets compare language acquisition to an iceburg. The ice under the water represents what you can understand in Spanish (spoken or written). The ice above the water represents what you can produce effortlessly . The water surrounding the ice is what you do not yet understand. As you read or listen to the language and understand new words, water freezes onto the ice below and it grows bigger, pushing more ice up above the water. With enough comprehensible input, you will be able to speak more and more Spanish automatically. So, focus on understanding the meaning of what you hear and what you read. The language you hear and understand will soon rise to the surface.
Use Spanish as much as possible!
No cell phones in class please.
WORLD LANGUAGE MISSION STATEMENT
“Our mission is to prepare students to participate in local and global communities with an international mindset. We believe that in a world shaped by global politics and economics, global literacy cannot exist without modern language and culture instruction. The study of world languages and cultures enriches and enhances lifelong learning experiences and achievements, while promoting greater intellectual development.”
I grew up in Burlington, and moved back ten years ago after going to college in Ithaca, NY and Córdoba, Argentina. Since moving back, I taught Spanish for three years in middle and high school and then coached at the elementary level in creating safe, respectful and responsible school community built on trusting relationships.
I love to spend time with my two cats, miniature poodle, family and friends. I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, traveling and learning new things. In 2019, I spent my summer in Spain and Costa Rica, and I am really excited to tell you about my adventures!