Spanish is offered at The Waldorf School of Atlanta to all students. It is a dynamic program where language is offered through culture, music, games, cuisine, storytelling, crafts, singing, and dancing. From the content of these activities, children absorb the Spanish culture and its passions. As children create their own journals and diccionario, they learn grammar and reinforce their knowledge of the spoken language. Using the unique rhythm of each Latin American country, students learn the geography and history of that region. Throughout the year, students prepare for and celebrate colorful, seasonal fiestas.
At The Waldorf School of Atlanta we begin simply in kindergarten and grades one through three by immersing the children in the spoken language. Once a week, in their circle time, the kindergarten children are given just a little taste of the sound and feel of the language through verses, songs, and finger plays. In the first three grades we expand on this experience by adding stories and games that help the children deepen their experience. In these grades all work is oral, with no reading or writing.
As students enter grade four and are fairly adept at reading and writing English, we introduce the alphabet to them. While visually almost identical to our own alphabet, the foreign alphabet represents very different sound qualities. In order to help the children quickly make the connection between the letters and their sounds, we begin by writing out and reading aloud verses the children learned by heart in previous years. Soon the children are able to read Spanish aloud almost as well as they read English. In grade five, we revisit stories heard aloud in previous grades, in a printed form and begin more focused work with grammar.
The work of the middle school years is a bit more strenuous. We pull the language apart to study its nuances. We make more comparisons to English, discerning both the similarities and differences between the languages.
Catalina De Luna Garza
Catalina De Luna Garza was born to a large family (7 siblings) and raised in a small town north of Mexico.
She has completed the Waldorf teacher training and has the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies. Catalina has been teaching since she was 18 years old in preschool and elementary classes. For the last seven years, she was a class teacher at Colegio Rudolf Steiner, a Waldorf school in Mexico. Catalina relocated from Mexico to teach at WSA in 2010. She has two daughters, both of whom are WSA students. It was while looking for a school for her oldest daughter that Catalina discovered Waldorf education.
Catalina enjoys modeling with clay, horseback riding, and all kinds of dance.