In starting Kallpachay I wanted to provide children with enriching Spanish educational experiences and honor their enthusiasm for life and learning. Children, I thought, deserve to learn Spanish with dynamic teachers, creative projects, interesting themes, and engaging lessons.
Almost six years later, all the hard work of putting together Kallpachay programs is rewarded when visiting the classes and seeing our students bubbling with excitement. I, too, am filled with excitement when I witness their success; when they remember the Spanish words as they are playing games, helping each other in Spanish, being creative, singing songs, and applying themselves to the learning process. It’s clearer now than ever before that our students are part of a wave of heritage and cultural appreciation.
Our clients represent the melting pot of cultures that is the heartbeat of Los Angeles and has made this the ideal starting location for us.
I am thankful for their enthusiasm, encouragement, and commitment because it fuels my passion for this work. There are many new projects in development that all relate to our commitment to continue to provide families and administrators with quality, progressive, arts-based, 100% Spanish immersion resources.
I hope you agree that Kallpachay is true to their Quechua name: persevere and inspire!
In 2012, Kallpachay’s founder and director, Miriam Epstein, went from teacher to entrepreneur. Ms. Epstein couldn’t help but notice the ease her group of preschool-age students were learning Spanish in an immersion setting. As a Waldorf-trained teacher, she recognized the importance of an arts-based approach to primary-language education and found that children learn best through play and context-rich settings. Seeing this process unfold with a second language made it clear to her that the current model of second-language education was in need of an overhaul. Her initial idea was to help make a change by starting a Spanish immersion summer camp where an ideal synthesis of play and language learning was realized.
In April of 2012, Kallpachay’s first camp banner went up along La Brea Avenue in the heart of Hollywood. The first camp began a few weeks later with twenty children in a home setting. Six years later, Kallpachay’s continuing expansion proves there is a need for quality, early Spanish language education. In 2017 Kallpachay programs served over 600 students, ages 4-13, in 30+ locations throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
To help children advance as Spanish language learners by interweaving playful exploration and cultural celebration throughout finely-crafted, innovative curriculum.
Cristina Rubio-Hignett, MA
Mrs. Cristina Rubio-Hignett has been studying and teaching in the field of second language acquisition education with a focus on linguistic analysis for the past fifteen years. She has a double B.A. in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics (University of Pittsburgh), a Master’s in Applied Linguistics to Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (Universidad de Jaén, Spain), and is currently finishing her last year of coursework to complete a Master’s in the Stylistic and Grammatical Analysis of Spanish (UNED, Spain).
Mrs. Rubio Hignett has authored and co-authored textbooks, workbooks, teachers’ manuals and supplemental material packets for language programs in Spain and the US. She has also collaborated on research projects that increased opportunities for educational exchanges between Spanish and US students (presented at ACTFL conference, 2015) and continues to facilitate exchanges for both educators and students.
Mrs. Rubio-Hignett joined Kallpachay as the Curriculum Director when she relocated from Spain to Los Angeles in 2015. Upon recognizing her expertise in and commitment to Spanish language education program development she was invited to become Director of Spanish Education for Kallpachay. Mrs. Rubio-Hignett teaches, writes all curriculum units, trains and mentors teachers, conducts consultations, and coordinates international exchanges. Her love of the Spanish language and culture has been the recipe for creating the fun and exciting curriculum that our students love!
- Our strategic vision will raise the bar for what is achievable in Spanish language education. We believe that learning a second-language can be affordable and easily accessible for children to begin in their early years. Kallpachay will provide opportunities by creating location specific programming that fills this need.
- We envision receiving grants and additional funding sources to provide more teacher training opportunities, educational forums for parents, curriculum materials for schools, and comprehensive after-school language programming for students.
- Together with administrators, teachers, community leaders, businesses, and parents we can have a lasting and far-reaching impact in Spanish immersion education.
STAGES OF ACQUISITION
Children are able to identify the words they know from longer, more complex sentences, allowing them to decipher the meaning of new vocabulary.
Involves active participation in group activities that require using Spanish. Children work more with the vocabulary and begin to create simple sentences.
Children note progress in their ability to understand and interact in Spanish and they feel encouraged, allowing them to relax into the process and learn new vocabulary at an expedited rate.
Children internalize grammatical structures and learn spelling and sounds, building toward independent expression through the writing of thoughts and ideas.
From prompted to unprompted conversation, children build toward fluency as a result of their desire to communicate.
◈ Persevere & Inspire
▻ Our goal is to inspire our students’ love for the Spanish language. We recognize the importance of Spanish and we continue to advance our mission through our perseverance.
◈ Maximize Potential
▻ Maximize the potential of each child and each program with attention to detail to help them advance in the Spanish language.
◈ Quality & Excellence
▻ We pride ourselves in providing quality Spanish language education and excellent customer service.
Immersion & You
Kallpachay clients reflect the wonderfully diverse and globally interwoven community of the Los Angeles region. Our parents have shared their stories and revealed why it’s important to them for their children to speak Spanish. We’ve found some of their top reasons include:
- Connecting them with their own love of Latin culture and/or their own heritage.
- Enabling them to communicate with Spanish-speaking family members here and abroad.
- Enriching their lives by opening up opportunities for their future.
- Increasing their tolerance and acceptance of other cultures.
THE PATH TO COMMITMENT
Common reasons families seek out our Spanish immersion language education services for their child include:
- Only one parent in the household is a native speaker.
- Grandparents or caregivers speak only Spanish with their child.
- Their child has a high comprehension but only responds in English; Spanish literacy skills are important to them.
- Wishing to avoid the power struggle over speaking Spanish together in the home.
- Neither parents nor family members speak Spanish, but the family has a strong desire to enrich their child’s language capacities.
- Keep Spanish going after child has outgrown daily interactions with Spanish-speaking caregiver.
WHY LEARN WITH KALLPACHAY
We learned early on that there was a lack of available programs for children to learn Spanish. We found that bringing students together once or twice per week for one-hour immersion classes gave them positive feelings and associations with speaking Spanish. An hour-long Kallpachay class is packed with many different types of games and activities that make speaking Spanish purposeful and fun for a child. Children enjoy connecting with other children and being creative, and they are proud to meet new challenges!
We know that language learning is a lifelong process, and to be successful there must be consistency. Kallpachay understands how to keep children interested by preparing new and exciting curriculum ensuring that learning is fun and meaningful.