Frazier now teaching Spanish

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Abril Reyna’s soft voice drifts over the intercom as she teaches fellow students at Frazier Primary School her native language. Reyna, a kindergartner at Frazier, is helping students learn Spanish this year.

Each day, Joyce Castillo, a Spanish-speaking teacher’s assistant, recites a group of English words over the intercom. Then Reyna repeats them in Spanish.

&uot;I’m so proud of you, boys and girls. You have really done a wonderful job learning all those Spanish words,&uot; says Castillo on the intercom.

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Principal Demetria Reed decided to add Spanish to the curriculum this year.

&uot;Spanish is going to be like a second language for this country,&uot; Reed said. &uot;I wanted the children to at least have some exposure to the Spanish language.&uot;

Each week, the school focuses on a letter of the alphabet and an English word that begins with that letter. They also learn the corresponding word in Spanish.

Reed recites the letter and the English word over the intercom every day.

And Reyna and Castillo review the Spanish words and phrases the students are learning.

The students pick up Spanish easily, Reed said.

&uot;They love it,&uot; Reed said. &uot;They do better with the pronunciation than we do.&uot;

This school year, Reed asked Reyna if she would like to help the students learn Spanish.

&uot;She agreed to do it, so we are learning from her,&uot; Reed said.

Reyna also helps her mother with her English, Reed said.

Castillo said she is pleased with how quickly the students are learning Spanish.

&uot;I was amazed from the very first day,&uot; she said. &uot;(The students) are so enthusiastic.&uot;

Castillo spent some time Tuesday reviewing this week’s word with a class. This week’s word is &uot;juego,&uot; Spanish for game.

&uot;It’s kind of hard to say, isn’t it?&uot; Castillo tells the class.

Castillo agreed that adults often have a harder time pronouncing the Spanish than the students.

&uot;One of the teachers came up to me and she was saying ‘hugo,’&uot; Castillo said.

The staff at Frazier have covered the walls with posters and banners advertising this week’s letter and words and the math facts of the week.

Teachers also review the items during class.

The staff hopes that all the repetition will help the students learn.

&uot;They see and hear this constantly,&uot;&160;said Assistant Principal Carla Evers, also a resource teacher. &uot;It’s starting to really sink in with them.&uot;