Maestra Carlota and her amiga Lala la Rana, visit the 3’s and PreK’s classes once a week. She brings a hands-on art activity related to the class curriculum as a means for students to explore speaking and listening to Spanish. She leads all of our familiar daily activities, just in Spanish. Our classroom is an active language learning environment; we do not concentrate on grammar lessons or verb conjugation. Instead, we talk, read, sing, and play in Spanish to cultivate curiosity, connection, and empathy.
We begin the year with concrete concepts that fit into the child’s world (colors of the day, shapes, numbers, parts of the body, common phrases). In the 3’s class Carlota uses both Spanish and English. The PreK program is more of an immersion experience. Carlota offers instructions and directions primarily in Spanish , then uses English when studnets have questions or clarification is needed.
Maestra Carlota’s warm and silly spirit sets a no-pressure tone of encouragement and fun. She emphasizes that exposing preschoolers to Spanish and a variety of Latinx traditions can open the door to a life long interest in other languages and cultures.
When families begin the program, Maesta Carlota offer’s these 3 tips:
1. Don’t force it, learning and speaking a new language should be fun and natural.
2. Exposure is a very powerful tool, the more time spent in environments where Spanish is spoken, the better!
3. A child’s motivation is a major factor in learning
Charlotte aka Maestra Carlota began studying Spanish at the age of 14. In high school, she spent several months as an exchange student in Santander, Spain. She continued studies in Spanish and Latin America in college during which she spent a term in the Dominican Republic. Her ULTIMATE Spanish language learning took place in Cantón San Carlos, Ciudad Dolores, Cabañas Department, El Salvador where Charlotte served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Upon returning to the PNW, she worked in community-based social services, working primarily with Latinx families in Burien, WA. She has taught at LPCP since 2018.