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Jordan Creek Students Learn Spanish Through Dance

Students at Jordan Creek Elementary had a special teacher during their Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) classes April 5. Zvi Geffen, the village program representative for Concordia Language Villages, got students up and dancing while learning some new Spanish phrases. The visit was coordinated by Jordan Creek’s FLES teacher, Candace Sherwood.

Geffen himself was a camper at the Concordia Language Villages, but went through the Chinese Village to get a taste for a new culture outside of what he was studying in school. He became fluent in Spanish as a result of his school studies and living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for two and a half years. He sees Spanish as a very important skill for students, helping them advance in any career while learning to be a better global citizen.

While visiting Jordan Creek, he took students through a chant, a song and aline dance, teaching them new words and phrases as they went. He did not speak any English to the students for the first 20 minutes of the class, as is customary in the district’s FLES classes.

“Doing a dance or learning a song is very helpful in learning a new language,” he said. “It’s not important that the students don’t understand every word I’m saying. The dance and movements help them understand.”

The Concordia Language Villages are the premiere language and cultural immersion program in the United States. Last summer, campers came from all 50 states and even other countries to be immersed in one of 15 different cultures. The camp pursues a vision of peace and understanding by introducing learners to the languages and cultures of the world. For more information, please visit www.concordialanguagevillages.org.