I am so excited to be the newest author here at the "Bilingual Teacher Clubhouse". I thought I would start off this new blogging adventure by briefly introducing myself to all of you so that you have an idea of where all of my ideas are rooted!
Thus, without further ado:
My name is Krista Carlson, and I am a second grade dual language teacher in Illinois. The way our program works in my district (as I know it differs in different places) is that there is one teacher that does it all (it all being the English and the Spanish components of the day). We have an 80/20 model that gradually moves up to 50/50 when the students reach 5th grade. Therefore, I teach 80% of my day in Spanish, and 20% in English. Generally my English time is focused on word work and guided reading. About 60% of the students in my classroom are native Spanish speakers, and 40% are native English speakers. I am in a district where dual language is the main means of reaching our Spanish, ELL population. It is an optional, enrichment type program for our native English speakers.
I have to say that I absolutely love my job! It is incredibly rewarding to be able to be part of this gift of being able to speak two languages that all of my students are receiving. I, myself, grew up here in Illinois, and was born a native English speaker. No one in my immediately family spoke another language, and I did not start studying Spanish until I reached high school (as is quite typical here in the states). I went on to study Spanish in college as well as study abroad in Spain for summer. With my background, I was then hired as a dual language teacher! I taught dual 1st for two years, and then switched to second last year. This is currently my fourth year of teaching. I must say, that it is amazing to see how students at such a young age are so quickly able to pick up a second language when it is presented in context and they are immersed in it. I wish this type of program would have been available to me as a child!
I would love to answer any questions that you have about dual language as well as intend to provide Spanish resources that I hope will prove useful to you in your classrooms. I cannot express how valuable I think this blog has the potential to be for bilingual teachers- as many of us know how time consuming our jobs can be just in searching for or translating materials! Looking forward to swapping resources with all of you in an attempt to make our lives easier as well as become stronger teachers!
The Second Grade Superkids