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Escuelita Spanish School

Escuelita Spanish SchoolEscuelita Spanish School

Escuelita Community Interest Company (CIC) emerged in response to a need for a Saturday school for children in the local Spanish-speaking community. Specifically, Escuelita began with a growing number of children who outgrew a Spanish playgroup in Cambridge, and whose parents wanted to continue their children’s contact with their native Spanish language and heritage beyond the age range of the playgroup. To this end, Escuelita was established as an unincorporated organization (and later as a CIC) and began with 18 students ages 2-6, divided in two groups according to their ages. Four native Spanish speaker teachers were initially hired in the areas of dance, science, theatre, and art to teach their respective subjects in Spanish and were immediately introduced to the content and language integrated learning (CLIL) framework. After one year, the word spread and Escuelita grew, and 3 additional teachers were hired to offer an expansion in the drama class, an introduction to music class and forest school.

Currently, Escuelita specializes in the CLIL pedagogy and supports their teachers by providing specific training in this area, and based on the students needs. Today, Escuelita has 36 children ages 3-11 from Spanish-speaking backgrounds, who hear Spanish in the home as a first or second language. The children’s level of Spanish varies from native speakers to those with partial understanding. Instead of revising lists of Spanish vocabulary students experience and participate in science, music, drama, dance and movement, art and forest school all in Spanish. In Escuelita children are encouraged to develop their Spanish language skills as well as their cultural identity. In essence, in Escuelita we are simultaneously fostering language acquisition, delivering a high standard of subject content and nurturing cultural identification. As a CIC, Escuelita offers all of its members opportunities to be involved in and determine the general direction of the organization. Together, Escuelita is a space where local families feel proud to speak Spanish and to celebrate their Spanish-speaking backgrounds.

We are based at Brown’s Field Youth and Community Centre. Please visit the Escuelita web site for more information.