Friday, April 27, 2012

The Bilingual Teacher

Hello. My name is Lidia Barbosa. I am the author of Kinder Latino and Kid's Reading Activities.  It is an honor to be invited to collaborate with Pre-K and K Sharing.

My first language was Spanish. I was born and raised here, in the United States.  Being a bilingual education teacher has been a very rewarding experience. I have taught 2nd grade, Pre-K and Kindergarten.  The Pre-K students are full of curiosity and willingness to learn new things, especially when you make it fun. Kindergarten students never cease to amaze me at how much they can learn. I love to see their reading and writing skills grow by leaps and bounds throughout the year.  What I love about second grade students is their self-motivation and that spark in their eyes that they get when they figure something out on their own.

I love the passion and respect for education that Hispanic families demonstrate.  Parents and students, alike, take education very seriously.  Parental involvement is especially high in the lower grades. These parents volunteer in the classrooms, teacher workroom, field trips, attend every conference and are always willing to help in some way. Even little holiday parties turn into huge celebrations with them bringing in more food than we can handle.

There are so many districts that provide some type of bilingual education. I am still surprised to see the lack of resources in Spanish for our bilingual classrooms. This becomes a challenge for us. We struggle to find books, center activities and reading resources for our students. Even-though there is a great need for it, the wide variety of resources are simply not available. Bilingual teachers spend many hours translating and creating material that is appropriate for their classrooms. This is the reason that I created Kinder Latino. It allows me to share ideas and activities with bilingual teachers.  My mission is to help others save a little more time and give students useful and meaningful resources in their own Spanish language.

After fifteen years of working in education, I was blessed with my third child. That was when my husband and I decided that I should stay home with my two youngest children. Time goes by so fast. I have three children. Daisy is 11 years old, Angel is 5 and Isabella is already 2 years old. I love spending quality time with them and enjoy them while they are still young. Now that I stay home, I have a little more time than when I was working.  I am able to create the resources that I always needed and wished for when I was in the classroom.  

I always new that I might want to publish some type of resources for bilingual education some day.  But, I never really imagined that my "stay-at-home-mom" status would turn into a "work-from-home" opportunity. Sharing ideas on my blog is a bonus.  It's a great feeling of accomplishment to be doing something that I love while helping others along the way. 

I have started to create some resources in English as well. Our bilingual students are definitely expected to learn English as soon as possible. Our goal is to provide as many opportunities for students to increase their vocabulary skills, comprehension and fluency in this second language.  With this in mind, districts offer various programs that they feel might be the best at achieving this goal.  Some bilingual classrooms provide an E.S.L. block during the day. This is when students build a foundation of academic skills in their native language.  They also focus on acquiring skills in English during a set amount of time each day. Other districts prefer the dual language method. This is when students are taught both, Spanish and English, during the day. Some prefer to use a rotation method where some days are taught in Spanish and other days are taught in English.  There are still other districts that prefer the full immersion program. It seems that no matter which program is being used, it still varies a little bit from campus to campus within a single district.  That being said, acquiring the English language is an important goal of the bilingual education program. There are simply different methods of teaching programs in the attempt to reach that goal.

I hope that you are able to find my future contributions to this community of Pre-K + K Sharing useful.  My next post will be in about two months from now.  I look forward to sharing more with you.  In the meantime, feel free to follow my Kinder Latino and Kid's Reading Activities blogs. Kinder Latino is for those who are interested in teaching Spanish to their little ones at school or in the home.  Kid's Reading Activities is an English blog that has some fun ideas for teaching young learners.  I hope to see you there :)

Enjoy these Spanish vowel prints for now.



  1. It's great to see you here, Lidia! I was already following your Kids' Reading Activities blog, and I'm following Kinder Latino now, too. I love that you're sharing Spanish resources! I always enjoyed teaching very-beginning Spanish as a Montessori teacher. And I love hearing how involved the Hispanic parents are in their young children's education!

    I pinned your Spanish Vowel Prints (thanks so much for sharing!) and your Kinder Latino blog to my Foreign Language for Kids board at

  2. Thank you, Deb! It is always a pleasure to see that English speakers are interested in learning Spanish as a second language. I am so glad that you find my resources useful. Thank you for your support!



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