Every day that I work with my Toddler House students is special. These one- and two-year-olds bring so much joy and fun to my job.
Researchers agree that the earlier a child starts learning a second language, the better. At Inly we start with our youngest students and offer many chances to hear and practice world languages during the day, not just during Spanish class time. Specialist language teachers and classroom teachers work as a team to accomplish goals together. Spanish is part of the regular language skills program and an important part of the curriculum.
When I teach Spanish, we all come together to sing, read books, act out movements and learn basic vocabulary. We expose the students to Spanish in many ways. I know that even when I’m not there in the classroom, the teachers practice the language with the students — singing our Spanish songs, using our new Spanish words. We use the languages in many levels to expose the language to the students in every way possible because we know of the potential the students have for natural language capacity at this age.
Every day that I walk into those classrooms, I know that I too will learn something new. My youngest students teach me that everything is possible, because at that age they don’t give up on anything.
When my students move from Toddler House to Children’s House and share how much they know in Spanish, it is one of the best gifts that I could imagine. It keeps me loving my job, knowing that each of them were exposed to a second language as a part of the Spanish journey from an early age. I know those children will not only be more interested to continue a second language, but also be kind and respectful and appreciate other languages and cultures.
The World Language program at Inly School includes Spanish at all grade levels: Toddler, Preschool, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School. To learn more, visit www.inlyschool.org/world-languages.
Marisol Martinez teaches Spanish to toddler through grade 3 students at Inly. She attended college and worked in the city of Monterrey, Mexico for several years. After studying psychology and nursing, Marisol gained experience in early childhood education at Crece y Aprende, a child care and kindergarten program in Monterrey. After moving to the States, Marisol spent several years working as a dedicated au pair in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Mari is thrilled to continue her work with children at Inly, where she teaches Spanish to Toddler, Children’s House, and Lower Elementary students.