by Derek Reveron
- A Spanish-language immersion program in the Washington, D.C. area is teaching Spanish to children as young as one year old.
- ¡Hola Baby! (Hello Baby) is attracting about 75 young children and their parents to each session at Mount Olivet Methodist Church in Arlington, VA (WashingtonPost.com 10.5.08). Instructor and founder María Elena Giraldo Greene conducts classes entirely in Spanish using objects, music and movement. Parents use vocabulary lists and song sheets to follow along and help children practice at home.
- Green built her business through word of mouth, fliers and online chat rooms. About 550 parents receive class updates online to use with their children.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Latino kids who learn to speak Spanish socially outside the homes are likely to do it socially as grown-ups.
- English-dominant children who learn Spanish grow up to preserve their culture and pass it on, and fill the growing need for bilingual employees.