User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


30° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Freezing rain switching to snow Sunday evening through Monday.

 

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Spanish Immersion Program Moves To Middle School

September 3, 2014, 10:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Spanish Immersion Program Moves To Middle School
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

For the first time, students in the popular Spanish Immersion Program in Sioux Falls are headed to Middle School.

The ground-breaking language program began in 2008 when a group of kindergarteners stepped into a Spanish-only classroom.

Now, they're making the transition to Edison Middle School where they are facing new challenges while remaining a tight-knit group.

"It's a big change for them, coming from elementary school where things are a little bit slower, teachers take care of them. But here it's a lot of content and we have to move and keep going," Spanish Immersion Teacher Eddier Montoya said.

"It's fun but it's also a little challenging," Anika Nelson said.

Since the beginning, teachers insisted every word spoken had to be Spanish. It was difficult at first for the students who had a tough learning curve. But their hard work has paid off.

The students' college-level proficiency surprised their new teacher.

"Amazed," Montoya said. "You can have a conversation like talking with a native speaker."

"It sort of feels like second nature," Elizabeth Jerstad said. "Spanish is like, I don't need to think about what I'm going to say or write or read because we've been studying it for so long and it's so easy."

"Sometimes outside with my friends, I just start speaking Spanish on accident," Anna Kidman said.

For their entire education, all of the classes were taught in their second language. Now that the group has moved to middle school, they are learning some subjects in English, like health and language arts.

It's the biggest transition for Anika Nelson who admits it's a little strange speaking English in class.

"In math class, since we've been learning it for six years (in Spanish) the vocabulary is a little different. So it's kind of weird getting transferred to different words," Nelson said.

"It's not exactly always easy but it is more fun because you get to interact with other students who you've never met before and make new friends," Jerstad said.

At first, the Spanish Immersion program was supposed to end after 5th grade. But parents like Shannon Graber are pushing to see the program reach high-school.

"I want this to be a K-12 program. We've always kind of talked about that and the district seems to have that vision as well. We've seen it supported here. As much as we can keep those kids retaining the language because it's at such a high level, you don't want them to lose it," Graber said.

There are some proven benefits to children learning a second language early. Montoya says it helps the students excel in other classes.

"All of them think outside the box. They are able to create solutions and you get amazed with the answers," Montoya said.

This program is completely by choice, parents must sign their children up for it. For more information on the program visit the Sioux Falls School District's website.

Rosa Parks Elementary also has a FLES program, which stands for Foreign Language in Elementary School. Each day a teacher goes into every traditional classroom and teaches a 15 minute Spanish lesson.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments







Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View featured stories

You may also like

Dakota State's 'Animal House'

12/14/2014 10:05 PM

A new campus housing project is taking flight at Dakota State University in Madison.

Full Story | Watch
Social Media's Dark Side

12/16/2014 10:08 PM

The connection to our electronic devices is stronger than ever before, and that bond will only grow as technology continues to develop.  As new a...

Full Story | Watch
Canton Family Continues To Recover From June Flood

12/18/2014 10:00 PM

While many homes have been repaired, others still have a long way to go.

Full Story | Watch
The South Dakota Death Penalty Debate

12/17/2014 9:59 PM

The debate over the death penalty in South Dakota is heating up again. After considering a full repeal last year, lawmakers are mulling more restricti...

Full Story | Watch
Working On The Holidays

12/19/2014 10:05 PM

While the holiday season is a time for many to spend with friends and family, not everyone will be able to do that.

Full Story | Watch


Events