At Villa di Maria, children have more than one option to learn a foreign language. There’s French with native French-speaker Sophie Andre, and also Spanish with Lower Elementary Directress and fluent Spanish-speaker Anna Schwind, who spent 16 of her formative years in Buenos Aires, Argentina! Below, a glimpse into one of her Spanish classes.
Anna makes an effort to include all of her students in some exposure to Spanish. Each morning, she greets individual children with a handshake and a Spanish greeting, and sometimes an entire conversation in Spanish if they are open to it! However, choosing a foreign language is completely up to the child. For both Ms. Sophie and Ms. Schwind’s classes, all Lower Elementary children are free to attend, or not attend, on a weekly basis.
This means that some children attend both French and Spanish, while others choose not to attend either. Some students choose to attend one week, then not the next. And still others switch between attending French one week, and Spanish the next. Allowing for this flexibility can keep children excited and motivated to learn the language, rather than feeling forced into it.
In this particular Spanish class, Anna presents the names of a wide variety of food and drink, while the children repeat (quickly and with impressive pronunciation) each word after her. They were all listening so intently, and so focused on the task, which can be seen by their body language below: all leaning in and effectively tuning out any distractions around them.
We are so lucky to have such international diversity at Villa di Maria. Thank you, Anna, for your hard work, patience, and for sharing your childhood language with these lucky children!