Frequently Asked Questions
Con mi Familia:
Who would benefit most from this course?
This class is really made for families who want to speak Spanish TOGETHER. It isn't just about your child learning Spanish because, really, I am teaching you how to teach them. I am giving YOU (the "grown-up") weekly lessons on pronunciation so you can use the words correctly for your children. They are sponges, they will copy what you say! If you can say it, they can say it. I am teaching you how to read to your children in Spanish so that they can be exposed to it not just at school or while with a native-speaking caregiver, but so that Spanish can become a part of your family's life. If you, as the adult, don't want to learn how to speak Spanish, then this course is not for you. If it has always been your dream to raise your child to speak another language and to create bilingual building blocks that will last them a lifetime, then I think you would love this course.
What is the recommended age range?
I want to say any age! I began seriously speaking Spanish with my twin girls around six months (once my severe sleep deprivation subsided...) and their growth and comfort with the language is absolutely mind-blowing for me to witness as a language teacher, learner and as a parent. The earlier the better and if your child doesn't fit within the recommended age group and you still want to sign up, you are WELCOME! The only reason I even have a recommended age is because of the weekly activities I will be sending you. I am saying 1.5-6 (or maybe 7) but truly, younger or older, you will all benefit.
How can I teach my children Spanish if I don't even speak Spanish?
Speaking Spanish with your children does not need to be all or nothing. I am a non-native Spanish speaker and several people have asked me if I'm concerned about teaching my children Spanish in a "non-native" way. My response? Heck no! It's better than nothing! Life isn't perfect, language isn't perfect (even if it's your native speaker, you are still making grammar mistakes you don't know about...) and I actually think it's sad that so many people see it as either all or nothing. Many parents don't expose their children to another language because "they don't know it well enough" but by doing so you are holding both your children and yourself back! Even learning some words or songs here and there will help your child learn and experience the fluidity of language, something that will not only create more opportunities for cognitive development but will also serve them later in life. So, first and foremost, let go of the idea that you can't teach your child Spanish because you don't speak Spanish. You can. I can help you. It doesn't need to be perfect and something is better than nothing.
What is this fluidity of language and why does it even matter?
What a great question and if you weren't a language teacher it would be weird if you have talked about it a lot. I can't tell you how many times my students have asked me WHY something with Spanish grammar or vocabulary was the way it was. Why do informal commands change conjugations if it is affirmative versus negative? Why do you spell this word that way? Why why why?! They would be so focused on understanding why it was different from English that often times they couldn't learn it. They weren't used to their language changing and shifting on a whim and it would take years for them to see and accept language as fluid. Who are the only students who I never saw this in? Students who had been raised to speak another language already. Every single student who had been exposed to another language had no issue with major variations in the way a new language works, they see it and accept it as a unique system to learn. So, why would it be helpful for your children to learn that a book can also be called a libro sometimes? IT WILL CHANGE THEIR LANGUAGE LEARNING FOREVER.
Will we all be fluent at the end of it?!
Woo! I love that go-getter attitude! My answer is a blunt one, nope. Fluency takes years of practice and exposure and immersion. Here's the thing, that doesn't mean that you won't get there one day. This course helps you lay the foundation for a bilingual childhood full of enthusiasm and creativity. Each series that I offer will build upon previous ones to slowly get you speaking, reading, singing, and listening to more and more Spanish every day. Just as your children's language skills grow daily and monthly and yearly in English, so too will your skills with Spanish.
C'ville Nature Classes:
How can we be prepared for each class?
We operate each class with the philosophy that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. We will be playing in the rain, getting muddy and embracing all weather (except lightning, thunder or dangerous conditions). Our best advice is to be prepared with clothing and bring extra clothing to change into after class if you want to have your child come home dry and clean. Rain gear and layers are our best friends. We also recommend any child who is potty trained use the bathroom before class, we will be outside and won't always be near a restroom.
Will my child be fluent in Spanish after taking this class?
What a great question! Many parents are wondering what to expect when their young child is exposed to a foreign language. This is my chance to remind you that it takes every person a great deal of time to learn and master any language. Think about how long it took your child to begin speaking their first language- years! The good news is that being exposed to foreign languages at such a young age gives them the amazing gift of learning first hand that language is fluid. They will start to make connections and learn that a stick is a stick but it can also be called un palo in Spanish. These connections will become more prevalent over time and soon they will be able to switch back and forth between English and Spanish in both understanding and ultimately expression. The more exposure they have, the greatest chance your child will have in being a successful language speaker in the future. This class will lay a great foundation of exploration and creation with Spanish that they will build on for years to come.
I signed my child up but they have older/younger siblings that I would love to (or need to) bring along- what should I do?
We get it! It is difficult to take just one child to a class when they have siblings that are either interested in going themselves or would need separate care during that time. Please email us and we can talk about each situation and find a great option for your family. Sibling discounts are available- just ask!
Do you ever offer scholarships?
This is currently a one-woman show (even though I use "we" a lot in my writing)- I am just a mama to two kids trying to support her family. That being said- heck yes! I know how it is, you want to offer your child amazing opportunities but sometimes finances don't always add up. I do my best to make the pricing of these classes realistic and affordable but I am always happy talk to families that are interested in scholarship opportunities to make sure their children get the same enriching experiences that their peers have access to. My philosophy- just ask!
We signed up for a class but have to miss one week (either sick child, travel etc...)
I get it! Things happen, sometimes last minute, and we can't always make it to class when scheduled. If you miss a class I may invite you to come to a class scheduled on another day, give you a voucher for your next session or offer a rescheduled class if other's from your group have missed as well.
What is your cancellation policy?
Upon registration you are committing to the full 6-week course. Your registration reserves a space and even if you are unable to attend, you are still expected to cover the fee associated with each class. If you have extenuating circumstances you may be able to receive a refund (one week before class begins you can receive a full refund minus a $20 administration fee, within one week of the first class you can receive a 50% refund if you can prove eventuating circumstances keeping you from attending).
If the instructor of the class is unable to teach, you will be given as much notice as possible and the class will be rescheduled for another week and scheduled for the same time frame. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled class then you will be given a voucher to use for future classes.