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Effective Elementary Spanish Education with ALBA Y GAEL


Discover how Mary Nieves Ruiz, an experienced K-12 Spanish teacher, improved elementary Spanish education through her experience with ALBA Y GAEL, addressing challenges and creating engaging language learning experiences.

Captura de pantalla 2023-11-13 a las 3.30.07
Instructor Profile

Mary Nieves Ruiz holds degrees in Spanish Philology and English Philology from the University of Leon. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Mary is dedicated to instilling a passion for the Spanish language and culture in her students. Her journey in education began in 2006, and she has been a valuable member of the Meridian community for the past decade.

Mary has been using ALBA Y GAEL as a core resource in her teaching since 2023.

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Institution Profile

Meridian Public School, located just one mile west of Daykin, Nebraska, stands as a consolidated educational institution, offering kindergarten through twelfth grade programs. It serves the neighboring Nebraskan communities of Daykin, Tobias, Western, Fairbury, and Alexandria.  

The Challenge

Mary Nieves’ primary challenges in her role as a Spanish teacher for elementary-age students were limitations on instruction time with her students and limited resources for teaching materials.

  • Limited instruction time: At Meridian Public School, elementary students had Spanish classes only once a week. This led Mary Nieves to look for a resource that would maximize learning and engagement within very limited hours.
  • Limited resources: Mary Nieves also sought teaching materials that met the relevant educational standards and requirements, while also being accessible with limited resources. At the time Mary Nieves was creating her own teaching materials from scratch for her diverse groups of students. This demanded significant time and effort, especially when catering to the specific needs of younger learners.

These challenges compelled Mary Nieves to seek an effective and comprehensive solution to provide consistent, engaging, and age-appropriate Spanish language education to her elementary students.

"Before, I had the responsibility of creating materials customized to the needs of my students, going from pre-K to 12th grade. It was a demanding task, especially for elementary students."

The Solution

ALBA Y GAEL was the solution that best responded to the needs of Mary Nieves’ curriculum, maximizing student engagement within the constraints of time, and providing stability to her elementary curriculum:

“Introducing ALBA Y GAEL brought structure and consistency to my classes, making teaching elementary students more effective.”

Her students readily connected with the program’s characters, their backgrounds, and even their pets. She followed the program’s guidelines, including the use of music, which enhanced engagement during lessons. The impact on student engagement was notable, with over 95% of Mary Nieves’ elementary students highly engaged when using ALBA Y GAEL.

Reflecting on her approach, Mary Nieves said, “ALBA Y GAEL became a world my students could relate to, creating an engaging language learning experience.”

The program also eliminated the need for manual material creation, offering a comprehensive, intuitive solution tailored to her young learners. ALBA Y GAEL includes a range of supplementary materials such as videos, karaoke songs, downloadable cut-outs, engaging board games for grammar and vocabulary revision, as well as resources like ‘Gramática Visual’ and ‘Minidiccionario’ that summarize grammatical and lexical content in an easily accessible manner.

“With ALBA Y GAEL, I didn’t have to spend as much time creating teaching materials myself. It had everything I needed.”

ALBA Y GAEL has significantly contributed to the success of elementary Spanish education at Meridian Public School, as experienced and shared by Mary Nieves. It has successfully addressed the specific teaching challenges brought on by time constraints and created an engaging and effective learning environment for the school’s youngest learners.

"ALBA Y GAEL's engaging characters captivated my elementary students, making language learning fun and memorable."

Learn more about the ALBA Y GAEL textbook series by visiting our online store.