Quint Defines and Celebrates Being Bilingual


Noemi B. and Allison E.

7th Grade

This week in Ms. Quint’s 7th grade Spanish class students are reading “Lazarillo De Tormes.” After a couple of chapters, they work on a worksheet about what they read.

The book is about a boy, Lazaro, whose mother has had many husbands, but hasn’t stayed with any. Later in the story, the Mom leaves her son. He needs to find his Dad to help him and it’s about his journey. In the end, it doesn’t work out. He needs to find a way to fend for himself.

Mrs. Quint believes that teaching Spanish is important. Many Hispanics believe they are bilingual, but they aren’t. She wants to help them become the bilingual people they say they are. She loves helping the kids and also learning new things with them. She doesn’t like the nonstop work. It can become exhausting.

“I love teaching Spanish. I’ve only been doing this for three years and at first it was difficult,” Mrs. Quint said. “I wish I had three more periods to teach them more.”

Paulina, a 7th grader in Mrs. Quints 2nd period class said the best thing about Spanish is she’s with her friends. She really likes Mrs. Quint. “I don’t find Spanish to be hard,” Paulina said. “If you really want to learn it, it won’t be difficult. It’s easy if you already know Spanish.”

Ms. Quint loves teaching all her students. “It reconnects me with my culture, I love to speak Spanish.” Ms. Quint said. “It’s brought me back to my roots.”

8th Grade

This week in Mrs. Quint’s 8th grade classes students are identifying and applying rules when using “g” and “j” in Spanish. They’re creating flip charts with the rules, taking notes, using Quizlet, and interactive spelling exercises. They are also reading the book “Don Quijote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

Some days Mrs. Quint reads out loud to the whole class. She’ll stop at certain points and students respond to the different parts of the plot by writing on sticky notes. They share their thoughts orally at their tables. Other times, students read with a partner and summarize what they read. At the end of each chapter, students pick their favorite event, illustrate it, and write a description of the drawing.

Mrs. Quint wants her students to become truly bilingual. Simply being able to speak Spanish with their parents at home, does not imply you are bilingual. She says that the best part of teaching Spanish is showing her students that being bilingual is something to be celebrated. “Being truly bilingual, means being fully literate in two languages,” Mrs. Quint said, “The worst part of teaching Heritage Spanish is that I am the only instructor doing it here at Sandburg, and it feels very isolating. I wish I had colleagues to share ideas with.”

Teaching her students the rules for writing in Spanish is going to help them become truly bilingual. Especially, when they are practicing by doing Quizlet and interactive spelling exercises. Students have to take a test to make sure they know the rules.

“When I was asked if I would be interested in teaching a Language Arts class in Spanish, I jumped at the opportunity and am very glad I did. I really enjoy teaching the class and working with this student population!” Mrs. Quint said.