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Posted February 26, 2013

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Volcano Vista Club Shares Spanish with First-Graders

Tierra Antigua students receive lessons during National Discover Languages Month.

Volcano Vista and Tierra Antigua students work together to identify Spanish words for vegetables.

Some Volcano Vista High students have been crossing the street after school and walking up the hill to Tierra Antigua Elementary this month to talk about colors, weather and fruits and vegetables with first graders. The catch is that the conversations are taking place in Spanish.

In recognition of National Discover Languages Month in February, the VVHS National Spanish Honor Society has been working with the elementary students once a week on their Spanish. The first-graders are learning a lot and having fun, and the juniors and seniors are learning too.

“This is a chance to apply what we’ve learned,” said Aubriana Knell, a junior.

Spanish teacher Natalie Figueroa said students must have an overall grade point average above 3.0 to join the Spanish Honor Society, as well as a minimum 3.5 GPA in Spanish classes. This is the third year the group has visited Tierra Antigua to tutor younger students.

“It’s amazing how quickly (the first-graders) pick it up,” said Tierra Antigua teacher Nina Zuni, who includes some Spanish in her lessons where she can. “The English Language Learners light up because they know it, and they get to be the role models for the class for something they’re good at.”

The VVHS students all say they would recommend the classroom visits to next year’s Honor Society, and those who will be seniors next year will be coming back. One said working with younger students is a good experience for her, as she wants to become a pediatric nurse one day. Another said she likes it better than conversing with her peers in Spanish.

“It’s easier to talk to the little kids because they don’t judge you,” junior Hannah Fenske said.

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