Preschool Spanish Curriculum: Accelerating the Learning Process Through Immersion and EngagementBrooks
The key to a successful homeschool Spanish curriculum is how you incorporate listening, reading, and writing into the system. The Sonrisas system applies an integrated approach to help children retain what they have learned in the course of the lesson. The important elements of the system are Storytelling, Circling, Art Time, and Culture.
The Sonrisas children’s Spanish curriculum has Spanish storybook sets with authentic literature. The books are carefully picked to facilitate learning and engagement. The course materials must have repetitive phrases, lively illustrations, and themes that are relatable to children.
The children’s homeschool Spanish curriculum emphasizes involvement during the Story Time sessions. Sessions not only teach pronunciation and spelling but allow the teacher to evaluate the student’s use of grammatical rules and the grasp of the language.
During Story Time, the teacher will point out pictures and titles as the text is read out loud. Since it is not a passive session, the teacher will periodically have to stop to ask questions. The teacher then repeats simple phrases and only proceeds when students get the correct answer. The purpose of the technique is to assess the understanding of concepts from previous lessons in the homeschool Spanish curriculum.
Preschool Spanish lessons may also apply the circling technique in reading and writing sessions, or to facilitate instructive storytelling. It is mainly for level III classes and keeps students active by asking practical questions in Spanish. The sessions can be short, lasting a few minutes, or could be extended up to half an hour in duration.
Circling sessions for levels I and II usually begin with calendar time. They may start with the instructor pointing to a world map or reading out the date and the scheduled activities.
The sessions involve a lot of dancing, singing, and repetition. In between the circling activities, the teacher interjects with questions requiring simple answers, such as yes or no, or good or bad.
For example, when singing, the teacher may ask, “¿Es Bueno or malo?” After this, the student may respond with, “¡Qué Bueno!” The teacher then repeats the answer and prompts the whole class to participate.
Art Time is another way the Sonrisas elementary language curriculum encourages engagement and learning. Each lesson has multiple art assignments that the teacher can pick. By having more than once option, the instructor has the freedom to choose what will resonate with the students.
The project could be based on the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s understanding of rules and use of language. The teacher may also choose a project that the children will love to maximize engagement.
All the levels of the Sonrisas preschool Spanish courses encourage participation. During the Art Time session, the instructor may ask students to color illustrations. The teacher may stop and ask, “¿De qué color es?”, if the students do not answer correctly, the answer is repeated verbally. The student has to then spell it out on paper.
Culture through Supplementary Material
Sonrisas understands the importance of incorporating culture in the Spanish language immersion program. At all levels of the preschool course, authentic literature is used in storybook sets, music CD’s and illustrations.
The Canciones Culturales CD has a mix of `18 traditional Spanish songs and some original music. It incorporates various aspects of the culture, with songs, poems, and dances. The catchy tunes encourage children to sing along and repeat simple phrases. The repetition is part of the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum format. Its purpose is to improve the pronunciation and memorization of learning material.
It is important that the material is not used exclusively as a lesson by itself. The Sonrisas immersion programs encourage teachers and parents to use this material as a supplement for lessons. It can also be part of the portfolio activities given as an assignment or part of a class session.
Developing an understanding of all the different cultural aspects of the language helps children understand the context of the language in an intuitive way. Sonrisas homeschool Spanish curriculum helps them appreciate music, art, and philosophy, all while improving their fluency.