Last October, we began an exciting project in our Kindergarten Spanish classes. We have been writing to two first grade classes in a small, non-denominational private school in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a school I attended some 30+ years back and still have connections to through the Alumni Association and the Elementary School Director. Our students are using their knowledge of simple Spanish greetings and verbs to communicate in written form with the Spanish-speaking students. The San Juan students are in turn writing back to us in English so they can practice using their English language skills. We sent our second group of letters last December, incorporating traditions such as La Navidad (Christmas) and Villancicos (Spanish holiday songs). We will continue this process throughout the year, using and applying Spanish words, concepts and traditions learned in class. Our Puerto Rican friends replied to our letters this week and are fascinated by our city and its location in the desert. We will learn terms associated with the desert Southwest in the next coming weeks as we prepare to reply to their letters this month.
As a member of the Meritas family of schools, Henderson International School uses the MAP (Meritas Academic Plan) compass to chart the course of education. One of the compass points on our MAP is Global Awareness. We strive to begin this awareness in our Early Years students through experiences like this Pen Pals project. This particular writing exchange project with Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas in Puerto Rico helps teach our young students how to make deeper connections to the larger world around them, learning and exchanging information with a different culture. This is a nice precursor to Meritas’ Touchpoints program that begins in 2nd grade.
THE 5 C’s of Foreign Language Education
Standard 1.1 Communication- Students engage in conversations (in written form), provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions.
Kinder Spanish Teacher