2009-04-09 / Letters to the Editor

Spanish teacher goes extra mile

I would like to express my gratitude to Miss Michaela Onosko for providing the after-school Spanish class to my third-grade child. Speaking for my child, he had an amazing time and was thrilled to learn about another culture. I am thankful that our school system provides our students with an opportunity to learn Spanish at a young age.

I am a big proponent for learning about other cultures, having spent my last two years of high school in Singapore where Mandarin and English are the national language. Having been immersed into that culture made me realize how important it is for my children to learn more about the Spanish culture / language since it is becoming more predominant in our country.

There are many statistics that show that learning Spanish is the most sensible option when it comes to choosing a language to learn. Once you begin learning Spanish you will be amazed at just how much can be spoken with a limited vocabulary and that many of these words are very similar to their English counterparts, which makes learning them that much easier.

It is even more compelling when you realize that about half of the population in the Western Hemisphere and Europe speaks Spanish, making it the primary language for as many people as English in this region of the world.

Providing elementary students with the opportunity to learn a foreign language allows for a longer sequence of instruction and could also increase the chances that a child could achieve proficiency in a language. We need to ensure whatever language options are provided in our school are also an option at North Kingstown High School (which is where I hope our school of record will always stay!) in order for our children to further develop their language skills.

Miss Onosko has been providing students at the Jamestown schools an amazing opportunity to learn a language that will give them practical use - it can expand horizons, stimulate the mind, feed curiosity, provide opportunities for employment, travel and entertainment, enhance cooperation among neighbors and build tolerance among peoples. I just wanted to recognize her and thank her for doing such an amazing job! Penny Bush Jamestown

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