Heritage Language Programs - Spanish
Creekside High School
Address: 7405 Herndon Road, Fairburn, Georgia 30213
Telephone: (770) 306-4300
Fax: (770) 306-4313
Name: Norma Casas
Languages/dialects taught: Spanish
Grades taught: 9-12
Purposes and goals of the program: The Spanish heritage language program aims to improve the overall communication skills of heritage speakers as well as to expand their awareness and cultural connections with their countries of origin.
Type of program: Content-based, heritage language, immersion program
Program origin: Founded August, 2007; funded by the district and state
Parents’ expectations for the program: We expect the parents to get involved with the program and serve as a link between the students, the teachers, and the community.
Instructors’ and administration’s expectations for the program: The teachers are expected to be fluent in the language and stay updated on current learning and teaching trends with this particular population. They also expect to provide before; and after school support for the students and to provide a variety of cultural experiences for the students enrolled.
Countries of origin: Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, and Dominican Republic.
Total student enrollment: 20 students
How the program identifies heritage speakers: Through a personal oral and written evaluation and a family profile
How the program determines the language background and language proficiency of students: Home language survey. Through an oral interview and conference with the parents. The interview goes through a variety of topics, from family; related and background questions and background to aspects of the language.
Percentage of students who complete the program: Unknown. It is the first year that the school is open.
Students’ attitudes toward the language varieties they speak: There is a very positive attitude towards language varieties. Students seem to enjoy learning from each other and are able to incorporate different varieties in their own speaking.
Additional comments: This is a new program, since for the first time we had enough students requesting this course to improve their Spanish. Many of them speak limited Spanish, having been born and raised here, so they want to be able to fully communicate in the language of their parents. Hopefully, the program will be able to continue in the future, since the Hispanic population in the area is continually growing.
Number of instructors in the program: 2
Languages in which instructors are proficient: Spanish
Proficiency level: Native speakers’ credentials
Credentials: Teacher certification in Spanish and ESL credentials and literature certification. B.A, M.A
Professional development opportunities instructors have: None through the district. Staff search and develop opportunities in this area.
Professional development opportunities instructors need: Specific teaching strategies and resources targeted to these specific students.
Total contact hours per week: 5 hours per week
Student grouping: The students are grouped by year levels.
Heritage language skills: Listening, speaking, reading and writing
English skills: Listening, speaking, reading and writing
Levels of language proficiency reached by the end of the program: The students are expected to reach native proficiency.
Aspects of culture taught: Geography, history, festivals, customs, traditions/beliefs, religion, folktales, dances, songs, rhymes, social and cultural norms, cultural appropriateness, and literature
Methodologies and instructional strategies used in the program: Content and performance- based learning. The curriculum is divided into themes, which are explored and discussed in a variety of ways, integrating arts and technology.
Other materials used for instruction: Resource books, short novels, and Internet resources
Technology used for instruction: Technology is used for research, creation of Power Point presentations, and digital movies and recordings.
Assessments used to evaluate students’ progress: Weekly quizzes, final exams, student self assessment, and teacher’s observations
How the program develops home/school connections or promotes parent involvement: Through ongoing teacher parent email or phone communication. Parents are also expected to visit the school as often as possible.
Opportunities for using the heritage language and developing cultural knowledge outside the program: Most students use the language at home with their parents or during specific, arranged field trips to places where they have to use it.
What the program has in place
Financial support the program receives: The program is supported bye the local and state government.
Other support the program receives: Parent support
Assistance or funding the program would like to receive: Staff development
How students graduate and/or how they receive credit: The students received four additional credits toward the end of the program.
Program research or evaluation: Since this is the first year, the research program is still in the planning stage.
Special challenges: None at the moment