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De los ojos a los elefantes — poco a poco: Developing a Spanish Program in a Reggio-inspired Context

by Liddy Wendell
September/October 2013
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/de-los-ojos-a-los-elefantes--poco-a-poco-developing-a-spanish-program-in-a--reggio-inspired-context/5021362/

Stevie looked up at the ceiling as he often does when he is concentrating. After a pause, while his friends waited expectantly for him to say his name, his gaze returned to the circle of fellow three and four year olds. With a glint in his eye he answered, "ˇMe llamo ojo!" My name is Eyeball! The class burst into laughter at such a silly ­declaration and Stevie ­settled back into his seat, satisfied.

My reaction to Stevie's statement was not just amusement, but amazement. Not only had Stevie successfully expressed humor in another language, but he had also done so using a word that I had not directly taught him: ojo.

I was hired in 2009 at Hilltop Children's Center to start a Spanish language program that reflected the learning ­children experience in their classrooms. Hilltop uses a Reggio-inspired approach in its work with children; namely, child-centered, with the foundation of emergent curriculum, the environment as teacher, and parents as partners. My challenge has been to develop a program that supports ­children's language acquisition in Spanish while mirroring Hilltop's commitment to anti-bias work and reflective teaching practices. My background in the Spanish language, my commitment to the Reggio philosophy, and ...

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