“I became interested in teaching Spanish for kids while watching my daughter growing up bilingual and after I started a Spanish Playgroup in Sydney, Australia. I had no idea how and where to begin, so after talking to my friend and colleague Maria Strickland, we started the search for a program that could help us in the journey.
“We looked at different materials until Maria found Ana Lomba. We first bought the Spanish for Preschoolers E-guide. We found it as an excellent resource to start, very inspiring, motivating and useful. As mums, always with not much time on our hands, we then decided to buy two of her Units.
“What a great investment! The units are packed with activities and ideas but what I find very interesting is that the way she presents them brought me inspiration to also create my own material. The thing that I like the most about Ana’s resources is the Immersion approach and how the children get IN the language. I am amazed to see how kids even after only one term learn so much and so quickly.
“As a mumpreneur now I am very proud to say that we started with 3 classes and we have reached 11 classes in only 7 months! Ana has always been available for us during this time sharing her experience and giving us advice when we requested it.
“I am very passionate about teaching the Spanish language and culture to children so thank you very much Ana for helping find a way to do it!”
Founder of Explore Spanish and mother of 2 bilingual kids
“My kids attended a Spanish playgroup and knew I wanted to teach them Spanish. I already had experience teaching Spanish to adults. One day Carolina Posadas came to me and said: ‘What if…?’ And that is how all started. I had the feeling I could teach kids but I was not sure HOW to do it and if I would really LOVE it.
“I knew we had to find the best method to do so. I am so glad we found Ana Lomba’s immersion system as it proved to be both a fantastic method and an effective guide towards our objective. I am very grateful to Ana, not only for the excellent units we bought from her, but also her genuine interest in knowing and understanding our doubts and giving us her feedback when needed.
“She has a lot of expertise in this field so we could take her advice seriously. We started with few classes and now we are growing the number of kids learning this beautiful language. The most rewarding part however is seeing them enjoying the class and learning as fast as they do with only a 40 minute weekly class.”
Preschool administrator, who hires other teachers
“Neither one of [our Spanish teachers] had been teachers before, but it is such a thorough program, they can follow it and do it. The students love it!
“I’m always looking for ways to improve our preschool program, so I decided to start a Spanish enrichment program. I had a completely different notion as to what it was going to be like when I started looking. I figured it was going to be teaching a lot of colors, shapes and numbers. Then I looked at Ana’s curriculum and I thought ‘Boy, I’ve got it all wrong!’
“The way that Ana starts with one simple story, building on it to build a vocabulary with each individual character in the story, I just thought that was great. The students love it. They love the teacher. They look forward to her coming. They’ve even asked her questions about how do you say so-and-so, and it’s not even part of the lesson for the day. They are really thoroughly enjoying it.
“I sent home a survey to all of the parents to ask if they would be willing to pay for the program next year. All of them said yes. One hundred percent said yes. Even the ones that didn’t have a child that age, they were definitely for it.
“Neither one of [our Spanish teachers] had been teachers before. They’re just people in the community who happen to have a love of kids and are interested in doing this program, but it is such a thorough program, they can follow it and do it.
“It’s easy to use. It was all downloaded so it was real easy to do. I paid for it online and boom, there it was. I can’t wait to order another set!”
Preschool Spanish teacher
“I love the fact that the curriculum is there, and I don’t have to write it! …I don’t feel as stressed out. I feel like I’ve had fun and the kids have had fun.
“I am a retired teacher from a public high school and I’m starting a second career. This is my fourth year in an early childhood Spanish program for pre-K two, three, four, kindergarten and first grade.
“When I first started, I was searching for early childhood Spanish curriculum. With the two year olds, we go through the alphabet, numbers, colors, that type of thing. But with pre-K three and four, I was not satisfied. I needed something that was more substantial in the Spanish language. I looked at Ana Lomba’s Gallina Roja and decided I wanted to try that with the three- and four-year-olds.
“I’m a book fanatic, so having a story and being able to use the language in context in different situations really got my attention. You have circle time. Then you have ‘actuamos.’ You have story telling. This curriculum is the only one that I’ve seen with this format. I love the format.
“Pre-K four is having an absolute ball with this. They are having a tremendous time. They are using the language. It is absolutely incredible. As a matter of fact, the first day, one of the little girls said, ‘Oh I love this. This is so much fun!’ I was blown away.
“Being able to have little kids be able to speak the language in sentences and say what they want, I just thought that was fabulous. They can transition from ‘I want cereal’ to ‘I want a crayon’ or something, being able to use the words in different context. The kids are able to speak back and forth to each other. The other curricula I’ve seen, they would just speak to the teacher and not to each other. Now they’re able to say it to each other. That’s awesome.
“I love the fact that the curriculum is written out, it’s there. I don’t have to write it! All I have to do is read it, study it, practice it.
“It is so time consuming to have to write curriculum. I’m grateful that I can go to the unit and I can read about the scene, re-read the scene, but I’m still not writing anything. I can visualize in my mind how I’m going to work it. I don’t feel as stressed out. I feel like I’ve had fun and the kids have had fun.”
Preschool teacher, who just started teaching this age group
“I think that a teacher with experience or without experience could use it and really feel successful and do well.”
“I just started teaching Spanish at my daughter’s preschool this year. We’re a play-based preschool, so I was looking for something that would be playful and get the kids using language right away. I didn’t want to go in each day with five vocabulary words and try to drill them on that and then walk out. I knew I wanted some music, I knew I wanted to try to get them talking, and I knew that I should try to use the target language as much as possible myself so that they were hearing it a lot.
“What I like most about the curriculum is how circular everything is, how it weaves the same vocabulary through the unit, so that the kids are hearing and saying things over and over again, and yet it’s not boring. I really like how she sets everything up to be very short kind of intervals that you teach in. That’s very age appropriate for the preschoolers.
“My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to hold the kids’ attention, that they wouldn’t enjoy Spanish, or that I would be so overwhelmed trying to develop curriculum that it really wasn’t going to be worth the small amount of time that I actually was teaching, or that I was going to be very disjointed trying to figure out, ‘What am I going to teach today?’
“I don’t have a lot of time to prepare, so I love how everything is just so well planned out for you already. You do a little review, you sing a song, you do a little acting, you play a little game. I would read through and decide which activities I could include in the time that I had with my class. It really made the time that I did spend planning and preparing very effective, and I felt very efficient.
“My other big challenge is that I only see each class once a week for twenty or forty minutes a week. Because the curriculum is based on stories that are already familiar to the kids, even though it was a whole week in between classes, they were engaged again right away.
“If I hadn’t read through Ana’s materials, I might have tried to use stories that are more from Hispanic culture and folklore and then the kids wouldn’t have had any background for it. It would’ve been really difficult for them to understand. [With The Little Red Hen] even if they didn’t understand everything that I was saying in Spanish, they could follow the story and they knew what we were doing, and then it wasn’t frustrating for them.
“The students love it. The kids are excited when they see me come into their classroom, and they’re so eager to participate. They remember and they can say things week to week, and they can sing the songs I’ve taught them loud and clear and with good pronunciation. The 3-year olds tend to be kind of quiet, yet they want to come up and act out a part. They love holding the ToonFlips and I think that is helpful to have the puppet to pretend to be.
“Their teachers are even shocked and have told me, ‘You know I wasn’t sure. I thought this was maybe a crazy idea to even try this with the three’s and yet they’re learning.’ They’ll say, ‘I can’t believe how much they’ve learned.’
“If nothing else, I think they feel like they can do it. They’re building confidence that they can learn a language, and that even if the first day they don’t understand, that they will learn.
“The feedback I’ve had from parents has all been very positive. The kids are going home and singing the songs, or talking about loving Spanish. They’re just so excited to be learning.
“The curriculum is written out to be for a summer immersion camp, but you can adapt it. If you want a script to follow you can do that. If you want to change it up a little bit you can do that. I think that a teacher with experience or without experience could use it and really feel successful and do well.”
“The method of storytelling using familiar stories is great. The imagination and creativity theatrics are wonderful to use with children. The use of movement and music with language teaching is so powerful! You’ve once again stirred my creative juices. Thanks for giving time to create and share ideas.”
Vice President and Conference Chair, Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ)
“Ana Lomba’s pedagogy is sound and inspiring. She clearly has a love for teaching young children and delivers instruction in a most engaging manner. We are thankful to Ana for the inspiration that she shared with the many educators in attendance.”
Nancy y Philip Muniz
“Ana’s ability to teach in the midst of ‘play’ type activities such as singing, dancing, crafts and cultural festivities serves to reinforce the learning cycle. She clearly loves what she does!”
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