By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — A trial run of a primary school Spanish lesson proves that Danville’s elementary students can benefit from early world language lessons, according to district teachers.
At the school board’s Jan. 28 meeting, Spanish teachers John Keller and Tina Bartholomew updated board members on their expansion of the district’s Spanish program to include more grade levels. Earlier this school year, Bartholomew led a Spanish lesson in the first-grade class of Danville Primary School teacher June Heeter.
“Spanish worked well with them, they enjoyed it and it was clear to see the elementary level children can really learn a world language,” said Bartholomew in a video clip of the lesson played for the board.
The focus of the first-grade lesson was on greetings and departures. Among the Spanish phrases learned by the students in the 40-minute lesson were “buenos dias,” “como estas” and “adios,” which translate to good morning, how are you and good bye, respectively.
In July, the school board approved the hiring of two additional Spanish teachers to help grow the program. Bartholomew and Keller advised the board to use one teacher at Danville Middle School and have the other transfer between Danville Primary School and Liberty Valley Intermediate School every five days.
“We’d have a greater continuity once we hit middle school” which would allow the Spanish curriculum to be further expanded once students reach high school, Keller said.
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