Greetings, families! Today I’d like to introduce you to Mónica Avendaño and tell you about our Spanish program here at Williamsburg Northside – which will soon be expanding to include our Preschool 3’s classes!
The many benefits of bilingualism have been proven over the years, and it is never too early to begin that exposure. By knowing multiple languages, children receive an unparalleled intellectual and cultural global perspective that shapes their understanding of the world. Language study opens a child’s mind to possibilities and points of view, while improving the brain’s executive functions, allowing children to become better problem solvers and critical thinkers. Mental flexibility is developed and focus and stamina are increased as children learn to naturally, seamlessly, switch attention from one topic or activity to another.
Our Spanish teacher, Mónica Avendaño, has been involved in the education of future generations for many years, convinced that learning helps people improve the quality of their lives, assume greater responsibilities in society, and create a better world for themselves, their families and their communities.
Mónica began her educational career by teaching art and art appreciation in her hometown of Medellin, Columbia. She enjoyed seeing her students discover the beauty that surrounds us in nature and in the creative work of other people. She also loved to see her students discover their talents and take the first steps towards their development as artists.
About 10 years ago, Mónica began teaching Spanish as a second language. She remains fascinated by how her students develop an appreciation of languages:
“When they realize that there is beauty in their own language, as well as in other people’s, this knowledge facilitates communication across cultures and personal histories.”
Teaching is a journey that Mónica takes with her students, and she is excited to extend that journey to our Preschool 3’s classes beginning in January.
We are very excited to begin offering Spanish in January with our 5-day Preschool 3s classes. At Northside, our content-focused Preschool Spanish program is designed to replicate the immersive experience. Mónica will visit each classroom at various times during the day and speak to the children exclusively en español about topics that are already meaningful to them. By engaging with the children in this way about their project work, classroom routines, and other interests, language acquisition occurs naturally in a fun, safe, happy way. Children make real connections between what they already know and are learning in English and the new Spanish vocabulary they are acquiring at a much faster rate. It sticks, and they use it. Songs, props, books, activities, and games are all ways by which children are encouraged to discover Spanish. Most of all, it’s fun!