Our Philosophy

Immersion is Best

Hola La believes, and research has shown, that the optimal way to learn Spanish is to immerse the children in the Spanish language. Just as children learn their native language by hearing, seeing and doing, they learn a second language in much the same way. Hola La classes follow this natural approach while incorporating a variety of techniques to make the language comprehensible to children. Hola La recognizes that children learn differently and with this in mind, the curriculum and teachers provide an environment in which each child's learning style can be met.

Private Schools – Hola La Curriculum Combined with TPRS

Hola La’s programs at private schools are designed for students to learn the Spanish language and culture. Students will learn to communicate by speaking, reading, writing, and understanding basic Spanish. We use the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards as our overarching guide to language instruction, using Hola La’s original curriculum through grades 3-4 (depending on the school and level of Spanish) and TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) by both Carol Gaab and Blaine Ray for grades 5-8 (sometimes including grades 3-4, depending on the school/level) to achieve this objective. TPRS is a method of language teaching which uses short, interactive stories as well as novels to teach proficiency in Spanish. 

TPRS offers more of an emphasis on structure and less of an emphasis on vocabulary. The goal of this approach to language teaching is to teach children to communicate based on mastery of language structures. Grammar instruction is built into the lessons through what Blaine Ray calls “pop-up questions”. Vocabulary is learned in context and through repetition within the stories.

ACTFL

ACTFL – Five Cs

Hola La uses the ACTFL National Standards for Foreign language learning to inform the curriculum for its kindergarten - grade 8 curriculum. http://www.actfl.org/publications/all/national-standards-foreign-language-education  

The Hola La curriculum designs its curriculum goals and assessments by using the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K-12 learners. These guidelines provide the performance levels for students  in six areas:

Comprehension: How well do they understand?

Comprehensibility: How well are they understood?

Cultural awareness: How is their cultural understanding reflected in their communication?

Communication strategies: How do they maintain communication?

Vocabulary Use: How extensive and applicable is their vocabulary?

Language control:  How accurate is their language?

Hola La’s performance indicators are organized into two levels (in accordance with the ACTFL):

  •  Level 1 (Novice Learner Range)
  •  Level 2 (Intermediate Learner Range)

There are 3 levels in the ACTFL, but as of now the Hola La curriculum covers level 1 and level 2. Both levels are broken down into three categories: (1) Interpersonal; (2) Interpretive; (3)  Presentational.  For a detailed account of performance indicators for Level  1 (Novice Learner Range), Level 2 (Intermediate Learner Range) and Level 3 (Advanced Range – though Hola La does not currently offer this level) please visit the following website: http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/PerformanceDescriptorsLanguageLearners.pdf

Hola La Scope and Sequence:

Since its creation in 2005, Hola La has created scope and sequence around the following curriculum topics:

  • Daily routines (weather, calendar, colors, greetings, etc.)
  • House vocabulary
  • Family
  • School (classrooms, outside, school routines)
  • Seasons (including summer)
  • Farm, jungle, and neighborhood animals
  • Sea creatures
  • Familiar stories (Little Red Riding Hood, The Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, etc.)
  • Mealtime
  • Puerto Rico country study

Hola La’s success can be attributed to its unique approach to Spanish language education and to its versatile delivery models. Practical humor, relatable characters, as well as music and take-home materials corresponding with each theme have helped to make the language “stick” for many schools, students and parents! Students delight in very silly, practical puppet shows, while older children are empowered to become the puppeteers, as well as engage in reading, writing and speaking using TPRS curriculum. Whether you are a parent looking for an enrichment activity for your child or a school administrator looking to launch or improve a Spanish language program for the students at your school, Hola La can customize its services to meet your needs.

 

All Are Welcome:

Multilingual or Spanish-speaking families seeking support in speaking Spanish with children outside the home and with other children.

Families with little or no Spanish language skills seeking exposure to Spanish through immersion.

Educators of schools and daycare centers looking to provide a dynamic, year-round Spanish program for their students and families.

Children everywhere who love to swim like fish under a parachute, ride a bus through a farm, or play "Simon Says" in Spanish.