Spanish courses in Calgary- Where can my child learn Spanish in Calgary?
My mother tongue is Spanish, where can my child learn Spanish? Learning another language is hard, if it were easy, everyone would know another language! It takes commitment and perseverance, do you have what it takes? The biggest problem with learning Spanish is that most people believe that by just showing up to class and doing a bit of homework is enough. Without full immersion Spanish the probabilities of learning are slim. It definitely comes easier to some than to others, just like math or art to someone else, but even in those cases you have to work hard specially when it is not immersion! It is true that learning another language for a child is easier, the earlier the better, but they have to be exposed to the language every day!
If you are an Spanish speaker parent of an older child and the window of time is closing, say they are in Junior High or High School, it is still easier for them to learn Spanish than for an adult. Except, with having class 2 or 3 times a week, what they do learn, the minute they stop, they will forget most of what they learned. Teachers are often blamed for this, “Oh the teacher did not speak to my child enough in Spanish” or “when I was in High School, I took french and remember nothing”. No teacher will be able to teach a student who only has the class a couple of hours a week, rushes through with homework or uses an online translate to do the homework and does not practice the rest of the week. In all fairness, there are teachers who have been told “my child does not have time for homework” he or she plays sports every day and we have to give the core subjects and sports priority.
When Spanish is taught as an option, it is very hard to achieve. The main problem with this situation is that only a small percentage of the students are committed because it is an option. They all believe it is cool to learn Spanish and they would probably say they do want to learn, but they don’t want to do the work that comes with it. In most cases, these students are in Junior High and High School. They have extra curricular activities, sports and other important subjects in school where their grades matter much more! Parents have such high expectations form the teacher teaching their child Spanish, that they miss the point at the time of having to help them make time or give it the importance to the option itself.
There has never been a better time to learn Spanish than now, with the internet and streaming options, you can practice so much, in recording your own voice, playing online games that challenge learning and streaming in Spanish (with subtitles at the beginning) and basically just listening to Spanish as much as possible.
For those parents who have younger children, the best option is a Spanish Bilingual school, starting early will be the best option, even if it means moving into a community that has one of these schools. You should not stop there, you should still help your child keep learning outside of school!
Spanish in Calgary
Currently Calgary has 18 English/Spanish schools under the Spanish bilingual program, children can start in Kindergarten and go all the way to grade 12!
Some of the Calgary schools with Spanish classes are:
Dalhousie K-5; Senator Patrick Burns 6-9; William Aberhart 10-12
Collingwood K-5; Senator Patrick Burns 6-9; William Aberhart 10-12
Eugene Coste K-3; Westgate K-4; Bishop Pinkham 6-8; Robert Warren 5-9; William Aberhart 10-12
Canyon Meadows K-4; Robert Warren 5-9; Dr. E.P. Scarlett 10; William Aberhart 11-12
W.O. Mitchell School K-3 (5 in the future); Senator Patrick Burns 6-9; William Aberhart 10-12
Because of the high demand of this program Schools have hosted teachers with Spanish as a native tongue from Spain since 2005 through the Visiting Teacher Program. This program is intended for foreign teachers to teach their native language in Alberta and assist an Alberta school jurisdiction with the development of their second language program. Even though there were already teachers that are native to many countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and more! More teachers were needed and so the program for Spain and Alberta to cooperate started!
Spain and Alberta are cooperating in the implementation of International Spanish Academies (ISA). An ISA is a special designation offered by
Spain to schools abroad who meet certain standards in Spanish bilingual language programming.
Alberta Education, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education of Spain, and four Alberta school jurisdictions hosted the annual conference for principals of ISA in May 2011 in Calgary. This was the first ISA conference held in Canada.
Scholarships are available for Alberta teachers and administrators to participate in summer courses in Spain. These courses provide study and professional development opportunities that focus on Spanish language, culture, and methodology.
The Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) entered an agreement with the Ministry of Education and the University of Alberta (U of A) with the aim to establish a Spanish Resource Centre in Edmonton. The U of A has agreements with various Spanish Universities, including the University of Granada, the University of Navarra and the University Pontificia Comillas of Madrid.
In January 2007, the Cervantes Institute, in cooperation with the University of Calgary (U of C), inaugurated the Aula Cervantes, Canada’s first language resource
centre dedicated to the promotion and teaching of Spanish. Learning resources are available online
through four interactive levels of coursework.
The U of C has agreements with five Spanish Universities including the University of Málaga and the University of Navarra.
The U of C offers a number of Group Study Programs in Spain which give students the opportunity to increase their understanding of the Spanish
language, history, culture and society. Programs regularly offered include Food Culture in Spain, Environmental Design in Barcelona, and a semester program with
Universidad Pablo de Olavide.
Mount Royal University has agreements with the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, the Universidad de CEU San Pablo in Madrid and the Universitat de Vic, in Vic (Cataluňa). MacEwan University’s School of Business offers a spring school at the Toulouse Business School’s Barcelona campus. Students spend a month
studying a business course at the Master’s level, and a ‘Spanish for Business’ course. The spring school has been offered since 2011. A student exchange program with the Autonomous University of Barcelona will be implemented during academic year 2013-2014.