Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

TALK program still going strong after 20 years

By
From page A8 | February 05, 2013 | 1 Comment

TALK teacher O. Lucia Diaz interacts with student Tyler Staub at a recent morning Spanish class at the Davis Art Center. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

On a cold winter’s morning last week, when most Davis children were just rolling out of bed or sitting down to breakfast, more than a dozen kids arrived at the Davis Art Center for a little before-school foreign language immersion.

Through the use of songs, games, artwork and stories, the children — all in grades 1-6 — spent a half-hour practicing their Spanish or French before heading off to start their regular school days.

The beginning Spanish class, taught by Marlene Robles, played a lively game of “hot potato” with a stuffed bear filling in for the spud. Whoever was left holding the bear when the song stopped had to answer a simple question — What’s your favorite animal? What’s your favorite number? — in Spanish.

Later they would end class with the popular classroom game “Four Corners,” though again, all counting would be done in Spanish.

Across the hall, slightly older children in the intermediate Spanish class taught by Lucia Diaz were constructing a paper house for the unit “Construyamos una casa,” or “Building a house.” As they designed their house, the students were using words like “ventanas” and “puertas” rather than “windows” and “doors.”

Diaz said her class has a range of fluency, from one bilingual student whose mother is from Brazil, to other students who are still relatively new to the language, “so I have to switch from Spanish to English and back again.”

Whether it’s children getting a little practice in their parents’ native tongues or students completely new to a second language, the Teach Another Language to Kids program has been doing just that for 20 years now.

A parent-created and still parent-run program, TALK employs UC Davis students to teach Spanish and French to children before school at the Davis Art Center as well as at Birch Lane and Korematsu elementary schools.

Over the years, the program has been at Pioneer, Montgomery, Valley Oak, Patwin and Willett elementary schools, based entirely on demand from parents and students, and has varied in size from a few dozen students to nearly 180 to the current enrollment of just over 50.

Featuring class sizes of six to 12 students, the program is focused primarily on conversational language acquisition, leaving the grammatical work to come later in junior high.

Over the years, many parents have reported their children having an easy transition to junior high world language classes because of their time in the TALK program and expressed pleasure as well at their children’s accents, something that reportedly is easier to develop when a language is heard and spoken at a younger age.

Nicole Rabaud, president of the TALK board of directors, has a daughter in the French class at the Art Center. A native French speaker herself — with family in France — Rabaud wanted her daughter to have an opportunity to practice the language with peers and has found that being in class every morning has made her daughter more eager to speak French at home.

“It’s almost like our language support group,” she laughed.

Fellow board member Laura Scott said she appreciates that the children end up with such a positive attitude about learning a new language because class is such fun.

Their enthusiastic young teachers are a big part of that.

The program seeks native speakers as instructors for the classes — something easier to find for Spanish than French. Currently of the program’s four French instructors, two are native speakers. But all five Spanish instructors are native speakers. Most are graduate students at UC Davis.

Though the second semester of TALK officially began last week, students are welcome to join at any time and tuition is prorated. To learn more or to register, contact the Davis Art Center at 530-756-4100 or www. davisartcenter.org.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8051. Follow her Twitter at @ATernusBellamy.

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • NicoleAugust 23, 2013 - 8:25 pm

    The TALK website can be found at groups.dcn.org/talk. For more information, please email talk program@hotmail.com.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

     
    Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Author discusses memoirs of Appalachia at The Avid Reader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9