Truckee’s Spanish language learners are excelling
April 1, 2009
“The little kids are about on the same level, it’s like talking to equals, rather than speaking down to each other,” said Gunnar Sutter, a Truckee High School Spanish 4 student. “There is only so much you can learn from a book.”
“You can’t learn a language in a vacuum,” echoed Karen Hutchinson, who teaches the Spanish 4 class.
The inter-cultural exchange is 21-year classroom model that pairs a Truckee Elementary bilingual class with Truckee High Spanish 4 students. Since February, second grade teacher Amalia Niewendorp has walked her class to Truckee High School for the win-win learning scenario. “The interchange which happens is invaluable,” Niewendorp stated.
The exchange lets the Spanish 4 students understand there is a lot more to know, and at the same time builds confidence. It fills in missing pieces and motivates the students to “impress their little amiguito,” according to Hutchinson.