Pagosa Springs Elementary School

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Spanish » Spanish Class

Spanish Class

The district has adopted the Spanish Level 1 curriculum developed by Sonrisas Spanish, a comprehensive program created by Blue and Brooks Linder, residents of Pagosa Springs.  The Sonrisas Spanish Elementary Curriculum includes three teaching methodologies: Total Physical Response, The Natural Approach and The Waldorf Foreign Language Approach.  Total Physical Response (TPR) was developed by Dr. James J. Asher in the 1960s and it is modeled upon the process that a child learned their first language; through gestures and “language-body conversations”.  This teaching pedagogy engages students kinesthetically and makes acquiring a new language fun and exciting for young learners.  The Natural Approach (NA) was developed by two linguists, Tracy Terrell and Dr. Stephen Krashen, who believe that language learning occurs through either acquisition (a focus on meaning) or through learning (a focus on form).  The NA methodology has proven that children learn a second language through acquisition.  The first Waldorf School was created by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s in Germany.  The Waldorf approach to learning a foreign language is based on communication and the importance of respect for those of other cultures and developing one’s social conscience.  By fusing these three teaching methodologies, the Sonrisas Spanish Program cultivates an excitement for learning by developing a student’s emotional reception to the language. Each Sonrisas Spanish lesson includes a communication objective, a circle time activity that includes games, songs and poems with accompanying movements, a story time book suggestion of a bilingual or Spanish only children’s book, and an art activity.