Hispanic Heritage Month Click here for a selection of on-line books!
The Spanish Experiment Spanish children's stories - Well-known children's stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids... and adults too! Read along in Spanish or English.
¡Hola y bienvenidos a la clase de español!
Hello and welcome to Spanish class!
Story Telling - It's how we learn Spanish
TPRS® (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, originated by Blaine Ray) is a powerful teaching methodology that is based on proven techniques and sound pedagogy. An input-based methodology, TPRS focuses on specific activities and techniques that expose the learner to an abundance of authentic language in a condensed period of time. It simulates a hybrid immersion experience by eliminating its flaws- IN comprehensible input and excessive amounts of time- while maintaining the powerfully effective aspects of an immersion experience: context, comprehensible messages, natural and useful language and a great deal of repetition.
Elementary World Language in Forest Hills
Purpose statement: The FHPS World Language program will provide highly engaging and personalized second language experiences so that students develop rapid proficiency and enjoyment of the second language.
“Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language.” (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, p. 7) Excerpted from "Working Together to Build a Multilingual Society", Center for Applied Linguistics, November 2003
In today’s global society, the ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset. Americans fluent in languages other than English enhance our economic competitiveness abroad, improve global communication, help to maintain our political and security interests, and promote tolerance and intercultural awareness (Pratt, 2002; Sollors, 2002).
Research has found a positive link between proficiency in more than one language and cognitive and academicskills (Armstrong & Rogers, 1997; Bialystock & Hakuta,1994: Cummins, 1992; Hakuta, 1986).
Some studies indicate that individuals who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not (Bamford & Mizokawa, 1991; Cummins, 1992). Standardized test results show that students who have focused on foreign language studies routinely achieve higher scores than students who do not take a foreign language.
Will my child be fluent in six years?
"We consider our children 'fluent' in English or their native languages at about age 5. If they are awake about 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, hearing, speaking, and seeing that first language, they have received about 25,000 hours of exposure to the language by the time they are 5. If your child attends our school from (Kindergarten through 5th grade), does not miss a single day, has no snow days, does not have any field trips on Spanish days, and I am never sick or at a conference, your child will have 216 hours of Spanish class. I cannot bring your child to fluency in (216) hours. However, I can and do target high-frequency language, use engaging activities, very controlled pace, and loads of repetition to maximize the language that your child does acquire in those hours. As your child progresses through middle and high school, with more time each week spent on Spanish, they will build on what we have begun and continue to progress toward fluency."
Adapted from Sharon Hellman, Spanish Teacher
Adapted from Sharon Hellman, Spanish Teacher
About the maestra . . .
My name is Melissa Neely and I teach Spanish k-5 at Knapp Forest Elementary. I have been teaching for Spanish for 26 years, everything from Kindergarten to Community College. I have a BA in Criminal Justice and Anthropology and another major in Spanish and teacher education, all from Indiana University. Although I have Master's degree in Spanish Pedagogy is from Illinois State University, I continued to learn and grow in my own language journey. I have lived in Mexico where I attended la Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and have traveled to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Spain. I love teaching Spanish to your children and consider it a privilege to spend time with them every day. Every child is unique and deserves the best I have to offer, with understanding and resepct. I hope they find joy in learning Spanish, and I look forward to guiding them on that journey.