November 19, 2012
From: Laura Clark
Director of Media Relations
ULM Department of World Languages establishes Spanish program at Lexington
Teachers and administrators at Lexington Elementary in Monroe have partnered with the University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of World Languages to offer a Spanish language program to students at the now pre-kindergarten through second grade school.
For three years prior to Lexington becoming a lower-elementary only school, ULM Spanish students taught beginning Spanish to the school’s fifth-graders.
When Lexington made the change to serve students through second grade only, Principal Lynn Hodge did not want to lose the opportunity for students to learn a language.
Hodge and Dr. Ruth E. Smith, coordinator of World Languages and director of the School of Humanities at ULM, began to discuss the design of a program that the school’s teachers could use.
“The Department of World Languages has supported this type of outreach so that ULM students can share their skills with younger students and so that the younger students have role models to encourage their study of language.”
With the help of ULM World Languages faculty and students, teachers at Lexington will now be able to teach their students Spanish as part of their daily curriculum.
María Blanca Wortham, instructor of Spanish at ULM, and Dr. Charles Holloway, professor of Spanish, met with Lexington teachers and explained the benefits of starting early in learning languages.
“Young children have a remarkable ability to acquire languages,” said Holloway. “What they need at this age is simply an opportunity to use the language in a meaningful context.”
Wortham developed a curriculum for Lexington teachers, and arranged for publisher, Cengage Learning, to contribute materials to help with the project.
Throughout the coming year, faculty and students in the Department of World Languages will offer assistance and resources to the teachers at Lexington, while they plan and implement the Spanish curriculum into their everyday coursework.