A Spanish class added to an elementary school by parent demand is proving to be popular, as students are excited to learn new ways to speak, count, read, and communicate.
At Wingate Elementary School, students who wish to learn Spanish but have been waitlisted or rejected for the small Dual Immersion Academy can still practice conversational Spanish and learn the language. The independently funded class was started this year.
“It has been more successful than I dreamed it would be. The kids are really responding and they just love it,” said Principal Carol Wethington. “What speaks to me the loudest is the fact that you hear them in the hallways. When I observe them in class, they’re engaged and paying attention, and you can feel the excitement.”
Conversational Spanish is the basis for the curriculum designed by teacher Christina Ulrich-Mayer.
“The goal is to create that passion in them and to not have them be fearful to speak, just because they’re not used to hearing or speaking that language,” she said. She speaks both English and Spanish, translating one to the other, to provide an immersion experience. Her students are showing a great deal of enthusiasm.
“It’s exciting to see how much the kids have retained, to see them walking around the halls singing the alphabet song I taught them,” she said.
“What I’ve enjoyed the most is the enthusiasm the kids have demonstrated through the class and the process of learning and wanting to understand more about the language and about different cultures.”