Central Magnet School

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Zaira Kime » Pedagogical approach

Pedagogical approach

I align my instruction with the Tennessee Foreign Language Standards, and follow the guidelines and requirements established countywide using the textbook 'Que Chevere'. However, as a native speaker, a learner of a second language myself, and a professional in the field of teaching Spanish, I know that the traditional approach to language teaching is simply not enough to empower students to be confident speakers of a foreign language. The outdated classroom where students memorize words and conjugations out of context, teachers create non-communicative multiple choice tests, complicated grammar rules are lectured quickly, and logical developing errors are punished, is simply not effective. Learning a foreign language is a skill. Learners have to practice and make mistakes before they master this very complicated art of expressing their thoughts, needs, feelings, ‘en español’. I value progress over perfection. I embrace student errors that show me that we are in the right path, and these are indeed an incredible valuable tool to provide me immediate feedback as for in which stage of the process the student is at. It is not about perfection, but about commitment and grit. Granted that with specific areas of content, when we have spent sufficient time on them, I expect students to have mastered that very specific learning essential, and they will certainly show mastery of them in assessments. However, conversational errors, and written errors in areas that are still developing are not only understandable but necessary. I use multiple resources that are tailored to the respective level of the course. I do TPR (Total Physical response) activities, I create visuals that they can record in their learning logs.I use different technology tools that engage students and provide me feedback on mastery. I do not expect students to have perfect pronunciation and never make an error. I am still learning English myself. Your child will hopefully become a life long learner of Spanish (and any other languages that he chooses to communicate in). She/he will never stop learning. My expectations are very high, but also very realistic and in accordance to their previous knowledge. The focus of my classes is to provide a very strong foundation where key grammar concepts are clearly presented and assimilated. I will also expect them to learn relevant vocabulary words that we will explore in a meaningful context situation. It is my goal to create an environment where the student feels confident to engage in conversation, create, write, imagine, improvise, and express in Spanish no matter their level. Learning a new language is not easy, but it will give your child a great sense of accomplishment. I know that you will support, encourage and celebrate her/him, and I thank you for that.