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A big thank you to everyone for making this School of English possible

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR MAKING THIS SCHOOL OF ENGLISH POSSIBLE! It is an active, experimental educational space where English is learnt “differently”.

DECRIPTION AND HISTORY

Our school specialises in teaching English at pre-school (ages 0-6) and primary school (ages 6-12) level. It is an Undergraduate Work Placement and Advanced Teacher Training education centre (see Work Placements and Training section). We also teach secondary school and university students and adults.

The Encarna Márquez School of English (for little people… and not so little!) opened its doors to students in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid in September 2006 and, since then, has offered a space for children and adults to engage, play, interact and communicate with British teachers, where they can learn to listen to, familiarise themselves with, distinguish, “tune in to”, understand, repeat, speak, practise and use the English language naturally.

The methodological focus of our school is oral natural and communicative. Our teaching programme is based on a psycholinguistic, cognitive and constructivist model and affords children the opportunity to come into contact with English from an early age, just as it occurs in real life. The programme is constantly adjusted to the specific needs and psychomotor and cognitive capacity of the children at each stage of their development.

Our aim is to teach children spoken English, developing their ability to understand and speak the language and, later, to read and write (in that order). We work with groups of children from the age of 18 months and also offer Massage and Games courses for parents and babies from the age of 6 months.

THE BEGINNING

The “Early and Simultaneous Second Language Learning Programme (ages 0-6): play, gesture, rhythm and movement” was devised in 1995 as a result of my interest in applied pedagogy in the stage from birth to the age of 6, which forms the basis of the programme. It has since been adapted for teaching English and Spanish as an after-school activity specifically to pre-school and primary school pupils. Children from the age of 18 months have been taught under the programme since 2005/2006 in various public pre-schools in Colmenar Viejo (Los Enebros, Los Arcos and Los Puertos), a private pre-school in Tres Cantos (La Casita de la Abuela), Madrid, and in Federico García Lorca School in Colmenar Viejo. The programme has been extremely successful, achieving very satisfactory results.

EVOLUTION

At the same time as the work mentioned above was being carried out, from 2003 to 2006, under the name “Alba Programme: Spanish for Children”, as part of a project that was sponsored by Lincoln Christs Hospital School (a Secondary Comprehensive, head teacher: David Cox) in its capacity as a Language College in Lincoln, England, a total of 850 English pupils (aged 4-11) were taught Spanish over three consecutive years. The pupils were from 7 state pre-schools and primary schools, all belonging to an “Early Learning Network”, a group of schools committed to the task of improving early learning and British pioneers of the incorporation of a foreign language into the curriculum during the first teaching stages. See Alba Programme

During the 2007-2008 academic year, the then-called “Alba Early and Simultaneous English Learning Programme” (“Programa Alba de Aprendizaje Temprano y Simultáneo de Inglés”) was implemented into the curriculum of two pre-schools belonging to the Community of Madrid municipality: Santa Cecilia in El Morar and Trinidad Ruíz in San Augustín de Guadalix (both with Tomás García Garrido as head teacher). 150 children (aged 1-3) were taught as part of a pilot scheme which preceded the later, now officially established Community of Madrid Bilingual Education Programme (Programa de Enseñanza Bilingüe de la Comunidad de Madrid). See article on the Alba Programme at pre-schools on the EDUCA MADRID website (in Spanish).

NOWADAYS

Since the 2011-2012 academic year, the programme has gone under the name ‘English Club’ (Encarna Márquez School of English) in Peñalvento School in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, as an extra-curricular activity for children aged 4-11.

After 25 years of experience in the profession, my passion for teaching remains intact. You can count on my enthusiasm and that I will give my all.

¡My team and I will do everything possible to ensure our pupils, little and not so little, learn as much as possible!

Encarna Márquez