How Sonrisas Spanish Supports YouBrooks
Teaching elementary Spanish can be very challenging. Most elementary Spanish teachers do not have their own classrooms and travel to multiple classrooms in their schools. Many of us have schedules that don’t dedicate enough time to teaching a second language to young learners. Many schools do not purchase elementary Spanish curriculum for teachers—leaving them to select resources on their own.
If you’re reading this, hopefully that last point is not the case for you, and you are fortunate enough to be implementing the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum. But beyond just having an effective curriculum to implement, we know that you need support. In this post we are going to highlight how Sonrisas Spanish supports you as you teach Spanish to children.
It’s Like Taking a Class on How to Teach Spanish to Children
This is how some describe the introduction section to our Teacher Manual. We spent many years teaching and researching second language acquisition before we published our curriculum. In each level of the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum the introduction includes a section entitled “The Methodologies Behind the Sonrisas Spanish Curriculum.” This is an in-depth look at the methodologies that influenced us as we developed the curriculum. It provides an excellent overview not only of the different methodologies we used to create our lessons, but also of how those methodologies are effective in second language education.
This introduction section of the Teacher Manual covers TPR, the Natural Approach, the Waldorf Approach, using the Standards, the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and the neurology of the bilingual brain. Having an understanding of these methods and topics can greatly enhance a teacher’s effectiveness in the world language classroom. If you have not read the introduction to the Teacher Manual, it is a must. It is the first step in how Sonrisas supports you—by providing a deep understanding of second language pedagogy. It really is like taking a class on how to teach Spanish to children.
We have always offered training along with our curriculum. Now, with current webinar technology, we are able to do this more regularly and make it available to teachers no matter where they are. On the second Tuesday of each month, we offer a morning and an afternoon webinar training for Sonrisas Levels I and II. For Sonrisas Level III, we include training videos on the Level III Resource CD and schedule individual trainings as needed.
The trainings are meant to insure an effective implementation of the lesson. They answer many questions that teachers have as they prepare to use Sonrisas in their classes. Training topics include: teacher manual overview, best practices, planning and prep, creating an immersion environment, how to teacher the lessons from beginning to end, and parent communication.
The trainings include live Q and A with Sonrisas Spanish co-founder and author Brooks Lindner (aka “Señor Brooks). Sonrisas provides this training for teachers free of charge. We want our teachers to feel confident, when they enter the classroom, that they know what they are doing with the Sonrisas lessons.
The Sonrisas Spanish Newsletter
Most companies use their newsletter as a way to sell stuff. We use the Sonrisas Newsletter to support teachers who are using our curriculum. Our newsletter contains articles, or links to articles, that provide strategies for using the Sonrisas curriculum as well as practical tips for teaching Spanish to children. The newsletter is also where we provide sign up for our trainings and announce news about new products and services.
You can think of the newsletter as a bit of PD that comes to your inbox each month. The content in the Sonrisas Newsletter can help you brush up on technique, strategy, and implementation throughout the school year. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of teaching. Our newsletter can help you stop, reflect, and take a moment to improve.
Last, but definitely not least, Sonrisas Spanish supports you by always being available for your personal communication. You can always reach us by phone or email. We are always available to answer any questions you may have—about our curriculum or about teaching Spanish to children in general.
We have been teaching Spanish to young learners for over 26 years. This means that we have seen just about every scenario in classrooms, scheduling, and class size, so we understand where you’re coming from. We have been lucky enough to remain small in size, even as we continue to serve teachers and schools throughout the country. If you call our office, it is most likely that one of our founders will answer the phone. This gives you direct access to the experience and expertise that we have to offer.
The bottom line is that all the support you need to be successful with Sonrisas Spanish is available to you. Teaching world language in the United States is more necessary now than ever. We love connecting with our customers and helping you with this most important task.