They’re playing with language; putting on a bilingual show helps kids enjoy two languages and become more confident in their speaking and language abilities.

At El Camino Real’s original production of Imaginations on the Loose!, students are participating in a pilot program to given them confidence, develop language skills, and encourage them to tell their stories.

Students created a series of short bilingual skits, which unleashed their imaginations and allowed them to dream big.

“This is a good program,” said fifth grader Brian Ruela, talomg a break from show rehearsal where he played a giant, “because it can help us be better actors and better public speakers in case we want to do something special — like maybe be president.”

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The pilot program is called Storytellers & Writers and was created by Carol Aubrey, a teacher and theater artist who merges performing arts with the classroom.  She started the program last spring to introduce students to performance and build their skills in literacy.

“The storytelling component fulfills the need for the students to work on developing their social and emotional skills — and their creativity,” Aubrey said. “And creativity really means the ability to create your own life. Not only are these their own stories, but they decided how to tell them.”

Students narrate, pantomime, and use signs with phrases in Spanish and English while performing short skits in two languages. “It is definitely helping them connect one language to another,” said Spanish teacher Veronica Pacheco.

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