Remote Learning and Elementary Spanish CurriculumBrooks
Many private tutors, teachers, students, and parents were thrust into the world of remote learning unprepared. When the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home guidelines hit, there was very little time to think through how to teach without in-person classes. As a result, the early process has been largely experimental, with many teachers and tutors adjusting on the fly.
Moreover, teachers and tutors have had to adapt to the preferred learning styles of their students and no classroom has exactly the same makeup of students. As a result, what works for one teacher may not work for every other teacher.
The most popular learning style theory is abbreviated VARK. VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Reading/writing, and Kinesthetic. These terms refer to the inherent learning style of students:
- Visual: Students who acquire new information with the assistance of visual aids are visual learners.
- Aural: Aural learners are students who learn better if they can hear and discuss the new information.
- Reading/writing: Those who prefer to learn by reading about the subject, or writing notes, papers, or essays about the topic fall into this category.
- Kinesthetic: Students in this category prefer to learn through demonstrations, experiments, and other learn-by-doing experiences.
For their first 8 years, children naturally acquire languages and they learn primarily through imitation, repetition, songs, and games. This is because these techniques incorporate visual, aural, reading and writing, and kinesthetic aids.
To take advantage of these natural tendencies remote Spanish curriculum for elementary school students should also incorporate VARK theory. Here are three ways VARK can help you teach an elementary Spanish curriculum remotely:
All children benefit from learning in a way that is fun and stories are a good way to engage children in the beginning Spanish curriculum. However, visual and aural learners are particularly amenable to listening to someone read storybooks to them. Visual learners can hear the words and associate them with the images. Likewise, aural learners can hear the words pronounced and discuss both the concepts and the elementary Spanish vocabulary.
Best of all, storytime fits naturally with remote learning. Zoom classes allow elementary Spanish students to see the illustrations and hear the teacher’s voice as the teacher reads the book.
Art projects also benefit children who have different learning styles. Children with a kinesthetic learning style can interact with objects to reinforce the concepts the objects represent. Reading/writing learning style students are especially benefited when they write Spanish words as part of the art project.
A teacher who plans ahead so that students are prepared can demonstrate the art project via remote learning and interact with the students as they complete their work.
Circle time is a time to vary activities to hit all of the learning styles. Games and show-and-tell engage kinesthetic learning students in the elementary Spanish curriculum. Songs, stories, and discussion engage aural learners and if visual aids are included, visual learners can also be engaged.
Remote learning can be intimidating for teachers. Many teachers might even feel like they are teaching with one arm tied behind their backs. However, with a little bit of advance planning and well thought out lesson plans, remote learning can be just as engaging as in-person elementary Spanish lessons.