My family and I chose our neighborhood because we wanted our children to grow up and go to school in a diverse environment. My district offers a high-quality dual-language program, but unfortunately, my son did not get a spot in the lottery.
Imagine my excitement when I learned that there is a Spanish language immersion class offered just one town away in Croton. Pop Spanish is a weekly drop off program for preschoolers. My son had the opportunity to participate in a class. In fact, my 2-year-old also crashed the party and had a great time. The lessons are engaging, immersive, and fun for kids. Sam, the teacher, offers many different activities that support both receptive and expressive language acquisition.
Founder and instructor Samantha McKay is highly qualified and experienced in both teaching Spanish and immersing children in language. She has taught for over a decade in both public and private schools within New York City and Westchester County and is NYS certified to teach grades K-12.
She has a preschooler of her own, and that’s what inspired her to start this business and offer classes to the community. Sam found it incredibly difficult to find classes where her daughter could improve her Spanish around children of a similar age. Any parent who is raising their child bilingually knows how motivating it can be for children to see their peers using the language. This motivation is what she is trying to capture in her classes. She believes that if she can get them excited about Spanish, they will feed off one another’s enthusiasm.
Pop Spanish lessons are mindfully designed to teach language through play, movement, and conversation.
The class is structured as a series of fun activities as well as thoughtful transitions. In the class we attended, Sam began with introductions. The kids then sang songs in Spanish that were both choral and call-and-response in format. Next, the children practiced vocabulary using colorful cards, round-robin style. Sam read a story featuring the vocabulary and invited kids to participate.
Yoga came next, which was also facilitated by cards that Sam handed to the children. This was my favorite part since all the children were engaged. Lastly, the class transitioned from a circle on the floor to sitting at a table. There they colored and practiced their vocabulary a bit more before gathering again to sing their goodbye songs.
Young children are the perfect subjects for new language learning. Their brains are like sponges and they soak up new languages much faster at a younger age. Sam says even limited language exposure helps prime their brains for future learning. Try it with your little one and see for yourself!