Developing Spanish fluency for real life application, to successfully navigate a diversity of open-ended situations waiting in the real world is the overarching goal for Spanish classes at the Lake Tahoe School. By building the Spanish skills necessary to interact with the world around them and encouraging exploration of Spanish speaking cultures, students leave LTS with the foundational skills to succeed in high school level courses, as well as develop an appreciation for diverse cultures.
In the lower elementary school students receive Spanish instruction twice a week starting in PreK 4, optimizing the critical language developmental years and providing a solid foundation for future success. Through engaging activities, cooperative games, story books, songs, and dance, students build vocabulary and develop a love for learning a foreign language that will last a lifetime. At the middle school level Spanish is considered a core class meaning students receive language instruction daily. The Realidades curriculum is used to build critical grammatical constructions necessary for effective speaking, writing and reading skills. Conversational Spanish is a major area of emphasis and middle school students explore various cultural themes including cooking, dance, music, and traditional celebrations. Tentative service abroad trip to Central America for middle school students starting in the 2018/2019 school year! More information to come.
Eric Harssema has been the Spanish teacher at LTS for grades 1 through 8 since 2016. Originally from the Cleveland area, Eric attended Ohio University where he received a bachelor of science in Adventure Recreation, as well as a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. During this time he studied abroad in Ecuador and Mexico, solidifying his language skills and instilling a love of travel that continues to today. Most recently Eric and his family traveled throughout Colombia in February of 2017. After relocating to Incline Village in 2003, Eric completed the Sierra Nevada College teacher education program receiving a masters degree in elementary education. Eric is a 10 year veteran teacher having taught grades 2 through 8, as well as several college Spanish courses. Outside of school you will often find Eric on the slopes at Diamond Peak, riding his bike with his husky Bella or relaxing at the beach with family and friends.