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When Fighting in Two Languages is a Great Thing

“Now I can argue with them in two languages,” Glenda said while letting out a chuckle that echoed in the kitchen. She really seemed entertained with this idea that her English lessons will have a great payoff sooner than expected. Glenda’s first and only language is Spanish and both her kids are bilingual, but for the last couple of weeks she has been a part of the English class offered at Casita for both staff and children.

This initiative started thanks to Sara Colindres, a local student at the Mayatan bilingual school who decided to do her mandated 180 hours of community service required for all Mayatan students to graduate from high school. After “racking her brain” coming up with places she could volunteer, it hit her that she could teach English at Casita Copán.

Her lessons are off to a fantastic start and only 6 classes in, she’s already teaching them possessive pronouns and apostrophes (something that many native English speakers struggle with). Sara teaches two hours from 4 to 6 p.m. twice a week and comes with a huge lesson binder that lays out the 90 day course plan. 

“She’s a really good teacher and she has no problems correcting us,” Marissa confided in me about her new professor. “She has corrected me many times and thanks to that I’m now pronouncing words correctly,” she added. Marisa, our Care Coordinator and one of our educators, is known fully well at Casita as one the teachers that lays down the law, but in this class, she talks and laughs nonstop with her fellow partner in crime Zochil. It’s been so bad that her “disruptions” have already cost her a few sturdy calls of attention from our newest professor.

Also in that category of easily distracted students is our Josué, whom is always eager to prove he knows just as much as the adults and get’s easily offended when no one answers questions he deems easy. “It’s definitely weird to be in class with my aunts (our educators), because at Casita they help me with my homework, but here we are all equal,” he reflected.

For us here at Casita, it is safe to say that we have never been more excited to see our kids and staff argue in two languages!