My name is Christopher Powell and I am proud to be a Foundation-supported Spanish teacher at Bel Aire School. Last year, I taught Spanish at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax. For ten years before that, I taught college-level Spanish, anthropology, and archaeology travel courses. I have a PhD in Latin American studies, and I worked for some 20 years in southern Mexico and Central America as an archaeologist and anthropologist.
I became interested in teaching Spanish to children when my wife, our two children and I moved to the United States from our home in southern Mexico. I was enthusiastically involved with teaching my children English and became fascinated with the process of acquiring a foreign language. I returned to college to study the art of teaching children a foreign language, and I am currently earning a masters degree in education.
A fascinating aspect of aquiring a new language is that we use similar cognitive processes as we used when we learned our native language. There is a quiet period before we first begin to speak where we absorb large amounts of comprehensible input. When children finally do begin to speak, it is often amazing to see how quickly they master it. Similarly, a foreign language students' speech emerges after enough language has been bound through communicative input. As your child’s teacher, I provide two, fifty-minute classes per week that emphasize interesting, comprehensible input presented in low-anxiety situations. These simple methods are proven by modern studies, and my own experience, to be optimally successful.
Finally, I want you to know that one of my most important goals this year is to keep the lines of communication open with you. I am available every day to talk with you between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at 415 388-7100 ext. 2507 if you have any questions or concerns during the year. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.