Written by Andrea Alford
It has been a real joy to get to know your students this year. I’m so excited about the opportunity to work with them this year, and assist them on their journey as Spanish language learners! I’m a language acquisition enthusiast. For me, acquiring a second language (or 3rd or 4th) is a thrill like no other. One of my primary goals this year is to help each student discover the joy of acquiring world languages, in particular, Spanish. I hope to help each student come to understand that they are excellent and highly capable language learners; to foster their desire to continue acquiring beyond the classroom, and to equip and empower them to eventually become autonomous language learners. I believe we are all wired to acquire language naturally and effortlessly when we receive messages in the language that we comprehend and are interested in. Rather than teach about the language (such as grammar rules and lists of vocabulary, which is more of a course in linguistics), the acquisition model helps students acquire language similar to the way they acquired their native language(s), through comprehensible input.
What they acquire, they can produce effortlessly, because they are focusing on the meaning of what they want to say, rather than the rules of how to put words together. It is a much more enjoyable, and effective, way to acquire language competency. Students may find and report that Spanish class is “easy.” It is my goal to make the Spanish I deliver in class as easy to understand as possible. However, this is no easy feat, because I’m exposing them to very rich and complex language, filled with words and structures they have never seen or heard before (components which, in a traditional, grammar-focused class, they may not see or experience for years). Yet, if I’m doing a good job, they will find it “easy” to understand. So although it may feel easy, if they are understanding the language I’m providing, they are acquiring a great deal.
I am following a well-established and researched method called Story-Listening.
I’m looking forward to getting to know your students even better in the weeks ahead. I think we are going to have a lot of fun this year, and I hope to help them grow by leaps and bounds in their language acquisition. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or thoughts to share with your student and/or their experience in Spanish class. I love to hear from my students and their families. I’ll be in touch soon about ways you can be involved with and support your student’s acquisition journey.
See Andrea’s full bio.
Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education.
2150 NE STUDIO ROAD
BEND, OREGON 97701
(541) 330 – 8841