Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Program pairs college students, elementary children for foreign language

K.I. Jones sings in spanish french and german 12_16_13

K.I. Jones third-graders sing a song in Spanish for a performance with Solano Community College’s Cross Age Teaching Program at the school Monday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

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From page A5 | December 18, 2013 | 2 Comments

FAIRFIELD — K.I. Jones Elementary School fifth-grader Zenab Eid already knows three languages – Arabic, English and now French. The last she learned through Solano Community College’s Cross Age Teaching Program.

The partnership between the college and Fairfield-Suisun School District pairs college students and elementary children from K.I. Jones, B. Gale Wilson and Suisun Valley elementary schools. The college students get some hands-on teaching experience. The children have the opportunity to learn Spanish, French or German.

More than 400 children, including Zenab, represented the schools Monday night in a performance at the K.I. Jones multipurpose room. Her younger brother David Eid, a fourth-grader at the school, sang in Spanish.

“I wanted them to know more than one language,” said their mother, Amira Eid. “It’s good for them.”

The children sang songs such as “Vive le Vent,” the French version of “Jingle Bells,” “Bruder Jakob,” the German version of “Brother John” and “Mi Burro,” a Spanish chlldren’s song about an ill donkey.

The Cross Age Teaching Program participants, under the direction of Solano College French instructor Lorna Marlow-Munoz, seemed to have as much fun as their charges.

The lessons focused on the basic, such as numbers and days of the week. Singing and games were also included.

“The children are very enthusiastic,” said Miquella Simmons, 20, one of 14 Cross Age Teaching Program instructors. “They’re like sponges.” She teaches French.

Karl Pau, whose native language is Tagalog, also teaches French. He loves to see the passion the children have for another language and particularly the song, “Lundi Matin,” which means Monday morning. Three of them got to wear crowns while singing it Monday night.

Marlow-Munoz brought the Cross Age Teaching Program to the college 14 years ago. Budget cuts and small student groups have kept the program off the curriculum some years, she said.

Many of the elementary school participants had never thought about taking a foreign language prior to their participation in the program, Marlow-Munoz said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Solano College student Catherine Flitcroft, who teaches Spanish. “There’s a lot of preparation involved. It really makes me appreciate what the teachers do.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
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Discussion | 2 comments

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  • S KDecember 17, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Not sure why my well written, NON RANT, post is not showing up, but I will C&P it all day till it DOES. I hate this POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, by this paper!!!>>>>>>>>>>>>This is a GREAT program. I am so ashamed of our own populace that is so ignorant language wise, and with MOST not being able to speak a foreign language. A lot of countries, specifically Germany makes it mandatory for elementary school aged kids to learn a foreign language many choosing English. Now don't jump on me about all the folk, LEGAL or ILLEGAL, that come over here with several of their generations not being bale to speak English. That IMO is disrespectful of their new home/country. But that is a horse of a different color. Just saying our kids should be up there with others knowing more than ONE LANGUAGE. Makes us look smarter too when traveling, like to Europe, Mexico, South America, WHEREVER.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KDecember 17, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    By the way, don't y'all hate it whenever you have to communicate with someone from a THIRD WORLD country, where supposedly the official language IS ENGLISH, like a couple of TECH SUPPORT countries that we all have had to at one time had to deal with. I will not mention the countries, not wanting to offend, but is is ridiculous, when you can hardly make out what they are saying. Yet they think that they speak English. I use to work with this co-worker at the local monopoly Telco. And whenever he got someone, another tech on the phone that he could hardly understand, he'd hand the phone to his boss, saying, "Here, they don't pay me enough to have to deal with this.">>LOL.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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