Here in Colombia, it is hard to understand what most of the people around me are saying, and I do not recognize most of the plants I have been seeing, and I have been tasting fruits that I have never heard of. But there is one thing I have gotten to see and experience over this week that I do recognize and understand and that is SECOND GRADE! 🙂I was so excited to visit the 2nd graders of the CASD Public School where they are implementing a fascinating bilingual pilot project. The students in this school do not study English as a separate subject, but instead study the content areas of science and social studies in English. They were lucky enough to have a teacher, Marco Jurado, who was not only fun and dynamic, but also passionate about preparing his students for the global society they will inherit. He explained to me that his students are being taught a foreign language in the same way we learn our first language. Through speaking, listening and using language in an authentic context. These are students who come from economically disadvantaged families and their ability to have a fluency in English will give them access to higher education and better jobs that they otherwise might not have. But more than all of this, what stood out to me was how much fun they were having! They spontaneously broke out in a New Direction song for me and proudly showed me their notebooks–full of science and social studies diagrams and notes. They were full of hugs and smiles and questions. I could have stayed their all day! I was thrilled to learn that Marco Jurado’s school has access to the internet and Skype! In September I will introduce my new students to Mr. Jurado’s class through –Together our classes will be able to exchange ideas, learning and friendship. Estoy feliz!
Question for kids: Look carefully at the pictures on this page. What things to you see in Mr. Jurado’s classroom and school that are the same as what you would see in our school? What things are different?