Delaware Students Gain Spanish Literacy through Independent Learning

     Published on 5/18/17   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Delaware Academy School    Delaware Primary   

Delaware students in kindergarten through second grade now have the opportunity to learn Spanish—independently – thanks to an SCSD Educational Foundation grant!
Teachers in the school’s Dual Language Program had encountered some difficulty getting native English speakers excited about learning Spanish.
“We felt we needed better and more engaging materials in our classrooms,” second grade teacher Emma Hofman explained. “We also envisioned a situation where our after school staff, Specials teachers, teacher’s aides and other non-Spanish speakers could access materials outside of the classroom as well.”
The Spanish Language and Literacy Enrichment grant funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation allowed this desire to become a reality.
Now, students have the ability to rotate through stations in their classroom, with each station offering a new way to learn. Students can listen to Spanish books on CD while they read along. They can use devices called ‘Whisper Phones’ to read in Spanish to each other quietly. They can play on computer programs that help them practice Spanish vocabulary and spelling.
“When I hear Spanish, it helps me learn it,” second grader Maliah Barnes said. “The games are fun because I can learn Spanish on my own!”
“Listening to books in Spanish is my favorite, because you can hear the sounds even if you don’t read the book and you’re still learning,” Seth Gilchrist said.
Students also work in small groups with their teacher, playing BINGO and a Memory-type card game that tests their Spanish skills – materials called ‘Sing N Speak Spanish.’
“Students are much more oral with their Spanish now, especially when reading with one another using the whisper phones,” Ms. Hofman observed. “Their comprehension and interest in Spanish literature has improved due to them now listening to multiple read alouds a day when using the listening center. The Sing N Speak materials also have been engaging them in learning and using new vocabulary, and kids love playing the games that came with the program. More and more, I hear kids getting excited about working in reading centers, and their reading and comprehension skills have certainly improved!”
This is one of 20 projects funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation in 14 schools this year, totaling $53,000. Thank you for the continued support!