Se habla Espanol? U. of I. course offers Spanish to young children

by Dusty Rhodes  /   Aug 9, 2011

Parents considering enrolling their young children in after-school piano lessons, ballet classes, gymnastics or martial arts now have another option for enriching their future – a Spanish language course. Taught by native or near-native Spanish speakers, the curriculum presents Spanish to children ages 4 through 8 using games, crafts, stories and songs.

“By playing, they learn a lot, and they’re having fun,” said Silvina Montrul, the head of the University of Illinois department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. “We want the children to enjoy the classes.”

Montrul, who also is the director of the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab, established the University Language Academy for Children in September 2010. Classes meet for about an hour four days a week at University Primary School. Enrollment is open through Aug. 31 (Sunday), and classes begin Sept. 6 (Tuesday).

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