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Q: Why are you teaching these vocabulary words? When is my child ever going to need to use the word flamingo?
A: The Purple School teaches based on 31 categories of interest to kids: animals, colors, bugs, etc. Different topics appeal more to some kids than to others. And just as in our native languages, we don't avoid words like flamingo and cow because they may not need to learn those words, in The Purple School curriculum, we introduce a wide range and variety of words from multiple categories each class. We aim to familiarize the kids with the sounds, cadence and flow of the target language. We do this through both individual vocabulary words which are the special words of the day and through the language of instruction which we strive to keep in the target language. For example, the teacher might say, "Hoy vamos a aprender la palabra zorro. Repitan despues de mi, zorro" (Today we're going to learn the word zorro. Repeat it after me, zorro (fox)." Very quickly the children learn this sentence structure and because they are shown the image of a zorro, They will also learn to associate the word zorro with the animal fox and not just with the English word, fox. And we always work on pronouncing their double Rs! The individual vocabulary words are mini goals and building blocks in the larger context of immersive learning, offering children the opportunity to set achievable goals and feel a sense of success which leads to long term confidence and interest in learning and deepening their knowledge of a second language!