I was born and raised in California and received my undergraduate degree from California State University in Hayward California. I received my post-baccalaureate degree and teacher certification from Concordia University of Wisconsin. I come to St. Alphonsus after teaching at St. Joseph Parish School in Grafton for 11 years, where I taught Spanish (1st grade thru 8th) as well as 6th grade Social Studies and 6th grade Science. My wife Nancy and I live in Cedarburg along with our two dogs Sasha and Bentley.
Spanish is arguably the most phonetic language in the world. As such, I believe in starting students off with a thorough understanding of “Spanish phonics”. Being able to correctly pronounce Spanish words greatly increases a student’s confidence. As their confidence increases, so does their learning and their enjoyment.
The goal of K5 and 1st grade is for the students to get comfortable with a new language, and to have fun! Grades 1 thru 5 will continually build vocabulary while focusing on correct pronunciation as well as an ever-increasing proficiency for correct spelling.
Beginning in grade 6, we change our focus to grammar and the parts of speech. Students will learn the rules that relate to the various parts of speech as well as for sentence construction. 6th grade is also when students will learn conjugation of Spanish verbs. While conjugation is not unique to the Spanish language, it is critical to communicating in Spanish. We will focus of present-tense conjugation.
For 7th and 8th grades, we will use thematic units to continue to improve our ability to construct and understand grammatically correct sentences, as well as to effectively listen to Spanish conversation and understand what is being said. Speaking, reading and writing in Spanish are much easier to do than listening. When we read, write or speak, we control the speed at which we work, but when we are listening…we are often at the mercy of the person speaking and their rate of speech.
The goal in exiting 8th grade is for the students to be prepared to go into Spanish II as freshman in high school. Ultimately, the decision on Spanish I vs Spanish II lies with the student and their family, however it is our goal to prepare all the students as if they will go directly into Spanish II.
In addition to the language, all students will learn of, and appreciate, the many rich cultures and traditions behind the Spanish language.