Olas Spanish Immersion School offers two language Immersion Programs: the Beginners Immersion Program and the Advanced Immersion Program. In both programs, we take advantage of young children’s unique abilities to develop listening, speaking, and reading skills through exposure and engagement. Students develop these skills in a way that mimics the acquisition of a native language.
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Beginners Immersion Program
In our Beginners Immersion Program, we work with students between 18 months and 4 years of age. Classes are divided in an age-appropriate fashion: 18-23 months; 2-3 years old; 3-4 years old, and the class size for each group is limited to 5 to 6 students per class. Since every class minute is precious in exposing our children to Spanish, we make our 2-hour classes fully immersive and content-rich. Each 2-hour class covers the following activities with certain activities repeating several times depending on the needs of the day and the atmosphere of the class: Singing Time, Story Telling, Work Period, Outdoor Activities and Arts and Crafts. Great emphasis is placed on contextual learning so that even activities such as Snack Time and Clean-up Time serve as opportunities to engage students with the Spanish language.
This time is spent singing songs in Spanish and also doing some physical exercises. Songs that emphasize relevant vocabulary and sentence structures are used in order to reinforce lessons. We use sign language to help reinforce and identify vocabulary during singing time.
Every 2-hour class typically includes two separate Story Times. Children listen as picture books are read in Spanish. Our small class sizes ensure that all children are actively engaged during Story Time.
Our play-based curriculum is designed for students to learn while having fun and with no pressure. All activities and materials used during class have a purpose; either to reinforce vocabulary or to encourage students to begin building small phrases in Spanish. Our activities are designed to foster language acquisition as well as mental development. Sing language is also used during work period to help associate words with movement and have a more successful learning experience. Studies show that children learn a new language more easily when words are accompanied by movements and gestures.
When weather permits, outdoor Spanish activities are arranged. Our outdoor activities are designed for students to have fun while learning from experiences. This is usually a time for review and practice from previous lessons.
In each class, our students will do art projects and hand crafts related to our weekly themes. This allows for our students to explore their first creative moments with hands on activities.
This time is utilized not only for eating and drinking, but also as an excellent opportunity to expose students to new vocabulary that may be relevant to snack time. Parents need to provide a PEANUT FREE snacks/lunch and water for their own children.
Children use this time to collect all the toys and books used in class. As with all of our other activities, context-based learning is emphasized, so children learn Spanish relevant to their cleaning activities during this time.
Because immersion requires regular, focused periods of learning, we ask that students enroll for a minimum of two 2-hour sessions per week.
Advanced Immersion Program
Our Advanced Immersion Program is geared towards students who have already developed their fundamental listening and speaking skills in our Beginners Immersion Program. In addition to participating in classroom activities similar to those used in the Beginners Immersion Program, students in the Advanced Immersion do subject-based learning entirely in Spanish.
Students will also begin to read Spanish syllables, then words, phrases, sentences, and simple stories. This experience in reading Spanish also benefits the children by deepening their core speaking and listening skills. Children are also usually very excited to discover that they possess the ability to learn to read complete sentences. This exposure to Spanish serves as the foundation for Spanish literacy, that gives students an advantage in reading and writing before entering our Elementary Program.
Students enrolling in the Advanced Immersion Program are selected by our teachers at the end of each semester. We consider it very important that students who enroll in this program are ready both from the perspective of their Spanish skills and maturity. Therefore, the selection criteria are based on the teachers’ assessment of the student’s Spanish language skills and overall readiness. Also, to ensure continual progress, it is very important for students enrolling in this program to have regular and intensive exposure to Spanish. Therefore, children are required to attend a minimum of two 2-hour immersion sessions per week in order to be eligible for the Advanced Immersion Program.
How to Enroll Your Child in a Class?
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what parents say
There is no better Spanish immersion program for toddlers in the Austin area! We enrolled our son in the Spanish immersion program last August and couldn’t be more pleased with the experience…
Olas has been the most amazing find for our family. My daughter started going to Olas at just 18 months old. We started her just 2 hours a week, and slowly increased to 12 hours a week as she got older…
We LOVE Olas and the TEACHERS so, so much. I am so glad I found Olas. It truly is an amazing & special place. You are helping my dream of my children being bilingual come true. I only wish I had started early…