Taos, NM (PRWEB) July 22, 2008
When Barack Obama answered a question last week on bilingualism at a town-hall-style meeting with "We should have every child speaking more than one language . . . You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish," he touched a nerve among some groups.
"Many political issues, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, the English Only movement and the immigration issue, have made the teaching of a second language, and in particular, the Spanish language, a subject of controversy," said Agnes Chavez, developer of The Sube Learning language thru Art, Music & Games line of products. "Many parents and teachers, however, embrace bilingual education because they know that it prepares our nation's children for the global workforce and increases children's tolerance and understanding of diverse cultures."
Obama's and Chavez's remarks echo the Department of Education's position that "American students must master critical-need foreign language skills for our nation to remain competitive and continue the progress in securing our nation," which is stated on the department's Web site. Even so, less than one quarter of public elementary schools in the United States report teaching foreign languages, according to "Foreign Language Instruction in the United States: A National Survey of Elementary and Secondary Schools." Among languages offered for instruction at those schools, Spanish is by far the most popular: 79 percent of schools offering foreign language instruction teach Spanish. (Visit http://www.sube.com for Fact Sheet: Why Americans Should Learn Spanish).
Sube offers a curriculum kit that is fast becoming a preferred method of teaching Spanish in many communities. The Sube method teaches Spanish through art, music and games. The kit is easy to use with lesson plans and materials included. Taking a unique, multi-sensory approach to learning a second language, the curriculum was developed to help motivate children by making the process fun and engaging.
"The materials offer unique and authentic construction for teaching Spanish, intertwined with culture, and can augment learning in challenging and interesting ways. The students will not be bored," said Dr. Eugene Garcia, dean of education at Arizona State University.
Many parents and teachers are buying the kit on their own and starting language schools at home or providing Spanish programs in their community schools.
"I started using Sube with my two children at home last summer. They loved the CD. Then, with the help of another mom in my son's kindergarten class, we put together a once-a-week class using our Sube workbook and CD/DVD," said Lisa Wilkinson, volunteer at Grass Valley Charter School in Grass Valley, Calif. "The children love the class; it is one of their favorite times in the week. We have had such success that I plan on bringing it into his 1st grade class. I'm hoping SUBE will follow us through his elementary years."
Sube has also been embraced by public schools, charter schools and faith-based school because it has been aligned with the international TESOL standards and provides a comprehensive language program for schools, including the Accountability Pack, which provides assessment tools and tests to help teachers track student progress.
Schools and parents who embrace foreign language instruction do so because they know it benefits their children. The National Association of Bilingual Education reports that children with knowledge of a second language have greater mental flexibility and, as the marketplace becomes increasingly global, bilingualism has a distinct advantage in the workplace. In fact, one study in Florida demonstrated that Hispanics who are fluent in both English and Spanish earned up to 50 percent more than those who spoke only English. Because foreign language education is not provided at most elementary schools, parents are turning to the Sube program as a home tool.
"My three children, ages five through 10, have improved their oral Spanish language skills through watching the Sube video," said Toni Overholser Gomez. "I highly recommend this program to parents."
Wilkinson and Gomez are like so many parents today who want to provide their children with a competitive edge in the workforce. They are heeding Obama's directive: "You should be thinking about how your child can become bilingual."
For more information on the Sube curriculum kit, visit http://www.sube.com.
Based in Taos, N.M., Sube, Inc. was founded in 1996 to develop innovative ways to teach language and cultural diversity in our schools, communities and homes. The company develops and distributes a line of multimedia products for home and classroom use that empower teachers and parents to teach Spanish or English as a second language. Incorporating art, music and games, the programs are developed using musicians, videographers, teachers and experts in the Northern New Mexico region. The company's vision is predicated on the belief that learning more than one language develops in children a global awareness crucial to their success in the world today. For more information, visit http://www.sube.com.
Sube, Inc. now has a Resource Page on their website to provide research articles and facts on the importance of teaching children a second language to help dispel the myths and raise awareness on the issue: https://www.sube.com/home/why-should-your-kids-learn-spanish?