Marta (on the left) is from Madrid and has been teaching in a bilingual program in Spain for the past three years. Elisa (on the right) is from Córdoba and has 11 years teaching experience including three years which she spent teaching Spanish in Florida through the same Visiting Teachers Program. The Visiting Teachers in the USA and Canada Program is an international cooperation program supported by the Ministry of Education/Embassy of Spain and several school districts across the United States and Canada, including the MURSD of course. We are thrilled to have these wonderful educators joining our team!! Marta will be teaching second grade and Elisa will be teaching first at Memorial Elementary School.
A Glimpse of Spanish Immersion Students in Action: Movie produced by Sra. Willinski, 3rd Grade SI Teacher
The Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (MECD) and the Education Office of Spain in Washington D.C. and in Ottawa (Canada), sponsor a Spanish Language Assistants and Culture Assistants program. The MURSD has been fortunate to participate in this program for the last 12 years. This year we are hosting two assistants at each of the district’s elementary schools. Jorge is working with Spanish Immersion classrooms, K-4 at Memorial Elementary School and Vicente is working in SI K-4 classrooms at Henry P. Clough. Read more about each of them below:
Vicente Calabuig: I am Vicente Calabuig, 24 and I am from Spain. I studied a degree in Sport Sciences and I later did my Masters in Teaching in Secondary Education. Even though I have usually been a Physical Education teacher, I’m looking forward to continue to improve my background in education by teaching Spanish in Elementary School. You never stop learning, even if you are the one who teaches.
“Teachers who love teaching teach their students to love learning.”
Jorge Domingo: I am from Valencia, Spain. Education is my passion and I specifically love to work with children. They are the future, and at those ages they are going to learn the base to acquire new knowledge in the future. That is the the main reason why I think that education is so important and that's why I work as an Elementary school teacher in Valencia. I have also worked at the Universidad de Granada as a Spanish teacher for foreigners. And now I am part of the SI program in Memorial school.
SI students in kindergarten through high school learned about the traditions of Mexico and Guatemala surrounding the Day of the Dead. Classrooms compared feelings around the loss of loved ones and different holidays during this season like Halloween, Día de los Muertos, and Día de Todos los Santos.
Nipmuc students with a passion for language acquisition and travel, may now have a new and exciting opportunity waiting for them in the fall of 2018!
After much research, a virtual exchange, and finally an exploratory trip to meet face-to-face with a K-12 school in Spain, we believe we have built a foundation for a lasting Home-Stay Exchange program. The city is San Sebastián and the school is Santa Teresa. To read more about the ambiance and culture of this school, nestled in the heart of University campuses within a beautiful coastal city, check out Dr. Maruszczak's Blog post. For a glimpse of the student perspective on the trip, read AP Moran's blog here.
We look forward to the next step of seeking definitive interest within the Nipmuc community of those wishing to travel and/or wishing to host exchange students for September of 2018.
Eva Martin Gonzalez, the Education Advisor at the Consulate of Spain'sOffice in Boston visited the SI program at Memorial and Clough schools on Thursday, June 1st. She had a great time with the kids and wasimpressed with their Spanish and enthusiasm. We are thankful to her for her support of our program and promoting the Spanish language and culture.
Exciting visit from Congressman McGovern today! He listened to the SI second graders share their animal reports and heard the SI kindergarteners perform the song 'Mi Cuerpo'. In the Memorial School library, he patiently fielded questions from all the SI students on his job in Congress, his work with the president, and confirmed that he did in fact like hot sauce! He praised the students for learning a second language, adding that in today's global society it is an essential skill. McGovern's children also attended a bilingual school in the Washington D.C. He later tweeted that this was his 'best Town Hall meeting yet'. We look forward to being in touch with our representative on pressing issues facing elementary students in his district.
Spanish Immersion second and third grade students at Memorial and fourth grade students at Clough have made friends overseas! Once a week teachers arrange a Skype call from their classrooms to an English class in San Sebastián. Once connected, students can ask each other questions, play games, and compare their lives; all while practicing their second or third language.
The connection with this school was made through Amaia Soroa, our Spanish Language and Culture Assistant. She attended this K-12 school called Fundación Escuela Teresiana. When she arrived in the fall she put us in touch with 'Teacher Oskar', as his English students call him. The calls have become a routine that the Spanish and American students look forward to.
This year Spanish Immersion seniors at Nipmuc High School are getting credits for planning and implementing lessons in the SI elementary classrooms. Sra. Moloney has created a course where her students can work with Sra. Cardamone to write lesson plans and create materials to advance their own Spanish language development by also contributing to the success and motivation of students just starting in the program.
In the above pictures SI Teacher Assistants, Taylor and Dallas, teach a lesson on Mexico to Sra. Ronnquist's fourth grade SI class, they work with Sra. Willinski's class on writing fall poems and they teach math through games to Sra. Cardamone's class. They are currently working on using the app, Chatter Pix, to record students speaking about characters in the Spanish texts they are reading. So nice to see the program come full circle!
Sra. Hendricks is the new third grade Spanish Immersion teacher at Memorial. She recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a double major in Spanish and Education. We are thrilled to have her on board!