1. Are the teachers certified in Spanish?
Yes, the teachers are certified in Spanish with many years of experience.
2. What is the tuition and how many students are in the class?
The tuition is $110 per ten class session with discounts for those who pay for the entire school year. There are no refunds for missed classes, but classes canceled due to weather will be made up. We will post such information on our site and our Facebook page. Tuition will be due at the beginning of each session.
3. What curriculum is being used for the language classes?
I purchased two wonderful curricula but I have found that the one that I created best fits the needs of our students in Northern Colorado. There are times when I fuse the curricula that I purchased and create total physical response (TPR) lessons and activities. We also use hundreds of songs, books, puppets, and fun classroom props.
4. Will learning a second language interfere with the development of the first language?
Research shows that learning a second language does not interfere with the development of the first language.
5. When will my child be fluent in Spanish?
According to research by experts, becoming fluent in a language requires a great deal of time, practice, and exposure to the language. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. It is also important to begin Spanish classes as early as possible.
6. Is my child still getting something out of the Spanish class if he or she does not speak?
Yes—there are five stages of language acquisition, and most likely your child is in the silent and receptive stage. They are often unresponsive and do not verbally respond to communication in the second language. These students will be included in all class activities but will not be forced to speak. Interaction will be with music, audiovisuals, games, fun activities that are age appropriate. Listening comprehension is the most important task at this stage. They will soon go on to the early production stage and then the speech emergence stage, where the student begins to speak in simple sentences and show improved comprehension.
7. How do children this age acquire Spanish?
According to Dr. Stephen Krashen (Professor Emeritus at USC) there are two ways of developing language ability: by acquisition and by learning. Language acquisition is a subconscious process, as in the case of your first language. Language learning is the conscious process of developing a foreign language through lessons focusing on grammatical structures. At Cocco Academy, children acquire language by doing activities in the target language. Your child will be having so much fun that he or she will not realize they are engaged in an activity conducted in Spanish.
8. Can preschool children be taught a second language?
We encourage parents to read this fascinating article on the subject. However, here is a quote from it to attempt to answer this popular question: "...it would be a waste not to use a child's natural ability to learn during his or her most vital years, when learning a second language is as easy as learning the first."