Wednesday 18th , 2013
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1540 My name is Edith Salazar; I am from Mexico City and studied Pedagogy. I came to the United States thirteen years ago, with the purpose of learning a new language. I did study English in Mexico, over a series of several courses but, when I got here, I realized that my English wasn’t good enough to communicate effectively. I was able to read, and write in English, but listening to and speaking it was a great challenge. I believe that learning a second language implies total or full immersion. Actually living in a country where English was spoken as the native language, increased the opportunities of practice, and the exposure to repetition and new situations helped me to master and acquire new lingual and communication skills. After a few years of studying, I became a Preschool Teacher. Working with children has been wonderful and very rewarding. To see a child’s amusement when discovering new things and their curiosity inspires me to create new opportunities for them to learn and explore. Through my years of teaching, I have observed that multiculturalism in the classroom exposes children to different languages. Singing songs with the children in different languages has become a fun part of the curriculum. Today, learning a second language is part of our education, a “qualification” for better opportunities. Unfortunately, not everybody can travel or move to a new country in order to learn a new language, but having everything around you in the language you are studying, allows you the opportunity to become more involved in it and helps to facilitate the process. Therefore, full immersion programs have a great benefit to the development of young child1541 ren. Having them exposed to a new language in a fun and creative environment makes the learning process become more natural. Reading to children every day and involving them in games and activities that involve the immersion language will help them to have greater proficiency in it; as well, it will become part of them and their culture. Kidspace Children’s Museum offers different Early Learner programs that provide a fun and stimulating environment that promotes early development and offer children opportunities to discover and develop learning skills that will help them to succeed in school. Bebé y Yo is a full Spanish immersion class where children are exposed to activities that will foster cooperation, social development, and strengthen motor skills while learning a new language. Educators only speak Spanish during class to both children and adults. Children hear and communicate in Spanish through songs and stories. This class helps children and parents to build their vocabulary and foster their confidence on communicating in Spanish as they try to explain or describe their environment. Many parents are initially fearful that immersion may have a negative impact on their child’s English language development, but research consistently finds that the immersion experience actually enhances English language development (Cloud, Genesee, & Hamayan, 2000). Children may not understand everything that we say in the immersion language, but the use of body language, visuals, and facial expressions, helps us to communicate the meaning of the words. Bebé y Yo is for children age 12 to 36 months. The class meets once a week (Sundays, Twosies or Mondays, Onesies 9:30-11am) for a period of 8 weeks. Children love to sing, dance and play, what a better way to learn a second language, don’t you think?

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Edith Salazar, Spanish Teacher Baby and Me, joined Kidspace educational team on September 2013. Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Mexico City, Edith is a native Spanish speaker that has a great passion for teaching and enjoys working with children. Prior to Kidspace, she worked as a Preschool Teacher, and Elementary School Teacher in Mexico. She has a strong vision of planning creative and fun hands-on activities.