Our Spanish Immersion Program
Immersion is the key component for learning at Pine Village. By focusing on immersing a child in new experiences, we assure that every child has the opportunity to engage and integrate learning in their own instinctual way. Pine Village immerses every child in a loving environment that encourages natural curiosity and natural instincts to explore and engage in new experiences.
Immersion is defined as a method of foreign language instruction in which the regular school curriculum is taught through the medium of the language. Spanish is the vehicle for content instruction at Pine Village; it is not the subject of instruction. Pine Village utilizes an 80:20 Immersion Model, where the teachers speak in Spanish 80% of the day, and in English 20% of the day. Constant and immersive exposure to the Spanish language, culturally rich and exciting activities, games, songs and books, create a cohesive Spanish environment that allows for every child to integrate a second language into their oral language development. As the children become progressively more familiar and comfortable hearing, understanding, and responding in Spanish, it becomes a natural part of their thought process.
Knowing two or more languages gives children many advantages in life. Bilingual children have the advantage of knowing and having experiences of two cultures, of being able to communicate with a wider variety of people, and of possible economic advantages in their future. The long-range goals of our immersion program include: 1) developing proficiency in Spanish as a first or second language; 2) developing positive attitudes toward those who speak a foreign language and toward their culture(s); 3) developing English language skills commensurate with expectations for student’s age and abilities; 4) gaining skills and knowledge in the content areas of the curriculum in keeping with stated objectives in these areas.
How Young Children Learn
All program and curriculum planning is based on our belief that everything begins with the individual child. To truly engage children, we need to pull on their interests. This allows us to be able to meet individual goals for children while ensuring that their interest is always captured. When children are engaged in activities that they are naturally interested in, learning happens without effort.
Play is the key to happy, socially adept, intelligent children. Children are active learners, making sense of the world in their own unique ways. When they choose their own play, they are in charge, setting up their own problems and controlling their own learning. This is a powerful and exciting position for children, who are, in real life, often subject to the demands of others. Self-guided play enhances children’s enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity. Pretend play, in particular, forms the groundwork for later intellectual and social development. In pretend learn to cope with feelings, cooperate, and share. They learn new words, how to take turns, and how to solve problems creatively. When problem solving is made real in play, children build flexible and supple intellectual skills. They learn that there are many ways to deal with the world around them. In sum, it is through free and guided play that children learn without being “taught,” and it is this type of learning that has the most meaningful and lasting effects.
Our curriculum is emergent; one that builds upon the interests of children. Topics for study are captured from the talk of children, through community or family events, as well as the known interests of the group. The curriculum for young children encompasses the schedule of activities, the physical learning environment, and the specific curriculum areas and themes. The thematic ideas and interests that arise from within the group are harnessed by the teacher, organized and built upon in order to offer the children a well-rounded experience. Throughout a theme, teachers encourage the children’s natural thought and curiosity. The goal of thematic emergent planning is to create a lifelong love of learning.
We offer flexible full and part-time schedules to meet the diverse needs of Pine Village families. We offer two options daily (school-day or extended-day program) and several weekly (2, 3, 4, or 5 days per week). All Pine Village schools are open from 8 – 5:30 Monday-Friday. Specific hours for the school-day program vary by location. For more information, please fill out an information request and someone will contact you to discuss these options.
Preschool Readiness (15mo. – 2.9yrs)
This exciting program encourages the sense of exploration natural to two and three-year-olds, using a safe and colorful environment where they can easily maneuver and interact. Our Preschool Readiness classrooms are designed to encourage learning through self-directed activities with the constant support of the teachers. Every component of this program is designed to promote self-confidence and happiness, a perfect first step for a young preschooler. This is a perfect time to introduce a second language to children as they are just begin to develop their verbal skills. The children are immersed in Spanish all day and the results are truly amazing: within one year they understand and use Spanish as easily as they do English.
Preschool (2.9 – 4yrs.)
Our program for preschoolers promotes individuality, self-direction and self-esteem. Our thematic curriculum emerges throughout the year as teachers create a learning environment that focuses on the interests of the children. Our talented teachers infuse literacy, math skills, art and the sciences into the curriculum as it emerges. As the curriculum unfolds, related activities, props, books and materials are infused in the classroom centers for the children to explore independently. Our preschool program is designed to encourage independence and a natural love for learning, both of which provide a strong base for a Pre-kindergarten program.
Pre-kindergarten (4 -6yrs.)
Paracion Para Kinder
This program, designed specifically for children getting ready to move on to the elementary grades, is a continuation of the Preschool program. More structured small-group activities extend the children’s interest in language, literacy, early mathematics, logical reasoning and the natural world. The Pre-Kindergarten teacher acts as a companion and a guiding mentor stimulating initiative, experimentation, reasoning and collaboration. Group time is extended, activities become group-oriented, and a greater focus on literacy, reading-readiness skills, and pre-math skills prepare this older group of children for the experience of a private or public school education
The Role of Teachers
El Rol De Nuestras Maestras
Teachers are seen as facilitators. As educators, we carefully listen, observe, and document children’s work and the growth of community in our classrooms. We stimulate children’s thinking, and encourage children’s collaboration with peers. Children’s learning is embedded in a supportive context. We join our students in activities of their choosing, and respect each child’s right to move through the curriculum at his or her own pace. We provide an emotionally supportive environment, set up to respect a range of developmental levels.
The guidelines and standards behind our curriculum provide structure for learning through play and meaningful experiences and activities. Teachers become aware of children’s individual needs, strengths, interests and abilities through observation and individual time together. Teachers customize curriculum based on their observations of individual children while arranging a rich variety of learning experiences that appeal to all of the senses. By alternating individual, partnered, small and large group activities, children are able to experience a wide range of social interactions and learning experiences.