DELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District is offering free beginning Spanish classes for adults in the Delavan-Darien community.
The courses will be Monday and Thursday evenings, Nov. 13 through Feb. 26, 2015, from 5:30-8 p.m. in the Phoenix Middle School library.
The bilingual Katie Lindskog, a former teacher and school counselor, will lead the course. The class is for any Delavan-Darien School District community member who has limited or no Spanish-speaking skills.
To sign up, call Lindskog at 262-902-0692, or email her at email@example.com. Space is limited to the first 25 students.
The classes will teach grammar, conversational skills, and some writing skills. No credit will be offered.
As the Latino population grows not only in the Delavan-Darien area but also throughout the entire country, teaching Spanish for adults becomes evermore important, said Ron Sandoval, Delavan-Darien’s director of language acquisition and community education.
“We are a partner with Gateway Technical College to teach English to Spanish-speakers. Now, we are looking to teach Spanish to English-speakers to further benefit our diverse community,” Sandoval said, noting that the district piloted an adult Spanish-learning program last school year. “We hope parents and community members at large, whether they speak only English or Spanish, see the benefits of such general language acquisition programs and use them so they can learn more about their neighbors. Hopefully, people in the course will go on to more advanced language courses, such as those offered for credit at area colleges and universities.”
The benefits of being bilingual are many, Sandoval said, particularly for those seeking careers or looking to advance in their career. Companies often put higher value on applicants who speak multiple languages because of the benefits it can give to the company.
Seeing that need, the district, which is made up of nearly 50 percent Latino students, this year started the county’s first Dual Language Immersion program for students. The choice program is currently available for students in pre-school (4-year-old kindergarten) through first grade.
The Dual Language Immersion Program teaches core content to both native English and native Spanish speakers in both languages so students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural, Sandoval said. The program will grow incrementally and add grades in the coming years.
Students will leave the program after fifth grade and be fluent in English and Spanish speaking, writing and conversation. They’ll also have a thorough understanding of both English and Spanish cultures, Sandoval said.