starting a foreign language playgroup - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 07-13-2010, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have just had the easiest time starting a Spanish immersion playgroup for my kids and some of our friends. It was so easy that I'm waiting for something to go wrong. I thought I'd share my short (very lucky) journey in case anyone here wants to try and do the same.

Since we live in Arizona native Spanish speakers are everywhere. I called our local university's college of education. I asked them if they could put out word to their students that we're looking for a native speaker to lead a playgroup. Then I called the community college early childhood department. That woman posted on the local Association for the Education of Young Children listserv. I've gotten 4 calls. Two people we couldn't afford. The woman we are doing this with is very experienced at this and is doing it for $2.50 per kid per session because she enjoys doing these type of groups.

I know we had just incredible good fortune in finding her. Because I live within walking distance of the university, we figured we would only be attractive to a university student who would work for such little money. We had no idea we'd get such an experienced teacher.

I'm encouraging everyone out there who wants their kids (especially their little kids) to learn a foreign language to try this. If there is a language commonly spoken in your area maybe you could find a college student or a retired person who will lead a group because they enjoy it.

Although we will have a small circle time, mainly she will be doing activities with the kids. She mentioned things like cooking, planting in containers, or carving pumpkins at Halloween. She said a lot of times she'll just let the kids play and she'll say things like, "I see you're stacking 3 blue blocks" (though in Spanish, of course.)

Good luck to everyone.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#2 of 6 Old 07-13-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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We were part of a group a couple of years ago. We met one day a week for 6 hours. Most of the day was in English. But we spent 30 minutes each day where no English could be used. The group leader played organized games during the 30 minutes. About half the kids already spoke Spanish. The other half just sat there looking like everyone was nuts. My son was one of the non-Spanish speakers. He did not enjoy it at all. He felt very left out as the Spanish speaking kids went on playing and made no effort to include the non-Spanish speaking kids. I want my son to learn Spanish because of his Guatemalan heritage. But I think this group has left a bad taste in his mouth for it.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
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#3 of 6 Old 07-13-2010, 07:39 PM
 
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That's a good idea! We live 2 blocks from a university and I've been wanting to find some help with teaching the girls Portuguese.

:::
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#4 of 6 Old 07-13-2010, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're doing 1.5 hours twice a week with only a small circle time. The rest will be the leader talking to the kids as they do stuff. These kids know at least some of the kids in the group so I don't anticipate anyone feeling left out.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#5 of 6 Old 07-14-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Just wanted to tell you.. I had been thinking about doing this for a while, and your post inspired me yesterday. I contacted our local graduate program in Spanish too and I've already heard back from a couple of native speakers. Then I checked in with our homeschool group, and many families are interested in joining too.

I'm so excited! My daughter was born in Guatemala, and I'm fluent in Spanish but I have totally slacked, and I regret it. She knows some Spanish, tons of songs, but I'm hoping this will finally give us real opportunities to speak the language together.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Holli
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#6 of 6 Old 07-14-2010, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for letting me know. It's a great feeling to know I inspired someone to take action.

Our group starts Friday. I can't wait.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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