Both being certified Foreign Language educators; Marlena DeLuca and Vanessa Faiola are well acquainted with language acquisition. After spending several years teaching Italian and Spanish at local high schools, their passion for languages has now taken these two “dreamers and enthusiasts” into uncharted terrains.
Marlena DeLuca graduated from Salve Regina University and received her teaching degree from Providence College. She has studied abroad in Rome, Italy and attended a summer program in Yucatan, Mexico. Her teaching career began in Rome, Italy as a private English teacher to Italian students. In 2006, Marlena began teaching at an international boarding school. Her extensive personal travel and the ability to speak Italian and Spanish have afforded her with the unique talent of being able to develop a multicultural approach to learning, which supports the school’s mission of providing global awareness and development. Personal development is constant in her life. Her inquisitive spirit for learning and desire for growth habitually renders itself to constant reevaluation and a desire for self-improvement.
Vanessa Bonilla Faiola is a native Spanish speaker of Colombian decent. She received a Bachelors degree in Spanish and education from Rhode Island College in 2009. Vanessa studied abroad at Universal, Centro de Lengua y Comunicacion Social, in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she focused on the history of art, civilizations, and literary texts. Since graduating, she has taught at the secondary level in several districts in the State of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Her passion and love for language and culture is evident in her teaching. Her positive, hardworking demeanor has always helped maintain an excellent rapport with her students and their families. Her philosophy is simple, “by creating a secure, nurturing, and stimulating environment, children will grow and mature socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally.”
For the last few months, Marlena and Vanessa have put all their energy and hopes into the New Era Enrichment Academy. This dual language immersion program will provide young children (0-5) with the opportunity to “integrate language and natural exploration, in an immersion setting, while feeling loved and safe.” The following is a letter addressed to the Rhode Island Community in which they describe their commitment to bilingualism, multiculturalism, cognitive development and cultural understanding using language learning and development as their entry point. We are proud to see that the Roadmap is already inspiring young and talented professionals such as Marlena and Vanessa.
New Era Enrichment Academy
October 3, 2012
To Whom It May Concern:
Today we are a part of a new world, full of bold ideas and dreams that are the products of many diverse people. We should, as a community of constant learners, dreamers and enthusiasts, know that there is a growing need for people to be proficient in multiple languages. It has been stated best, by Michael Byrnes, Former president of Tyco International China and retired Brigadier General of the U.S. Army, “Language learning is the mechanics that opens the door to culture which leads to understanding people.”
We, New Era Enrichment Academy, would like to express to you, our dream. We are currently building an enrichment academy that will provide children the opportunity to integrate language and natural exploration, in an immersion setting, while feeling loved and safe. The Academy’s objective is to provide children the necessary skills to be proficient in English and at least one other language.
Spanish will be the language of focus for the first few years of development, and then other languages will be integrated under the same curriculum. The key to creating a culture wherein one is proficient in at least two languages is to start early and build proficiency throughout the student’s educational career. Currently, language education at the ages of 0-5 is virtually non-existent. New Era Enrichment Academy is designed in hopes to establish a new culture where children will learn through a dual language learning program, one in which 80 percent of the instruction in all classes is given in a target language other than English.Â This academy will employ highly trained language education teachers.
Language is the compass to success. We have found that language acquisition and development is best achieved between the ages of 0-5. The interactions and experiences at New Era will help children optimally develop socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. Our mission is to stimulate creativity within all of our students and create a passion for the languages, through a fine balance of the language, natural exploration and our extensive curriculum.
We truly believe that in order for Rhode Island to have every graduate proficient in English and at least one other language, as stated in the minutes of The Rhode Island Roadmap to Language Excellence summit, then learning a language should be viewed as a necessity. “The roadmap recommends a route to language and cultural proficiency that begins in pre-kindergarten and continues through college.”
We, New Era Enrichment Academy, we would like to pioneer this venture and collaborate our efforts with the goal of developing public awareness about the benefits of world language proficiency and support for The Roadmap’s plans. We are highly qualified and motivated with a vision for enhancing the education of our youth. We are products of this model and have studied languages for years and are currently language educators. Through research, studying, and life experience, we know first hand that immersion is the best model. Our goal is to create a culture where children graduate at the age of 5 fully bilingual before entering kindergarten. This model will act as a catalyst for elementary schools to increase their curriculum to include foreign language at the start, therefore middle and high schools will have to do the same.
We realize change does not happen over night, but we are firm believers that we need to be the voice/model for the change we wish to see in world. Carlina Rinaldi, Pedagogista and Director of the Municipal Infant-Toddler Centers and Preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, states it best, “This is not a free journey but neither is it a journey with rigid timetables and schedules; rather, it is akin to a journey guided by a compass.”
We are fully aware that language excellence not only requires us to value culture and language acquisition but to implement these skills into our daily lives. Realizing this request of, The Roadmap, we look forward to collaborating with the leaders from different sectors; education, business and government, in order to prepare our young graduates with the necessary skills to be successful in our globally competitive society. “You need a good roadmap to get to where you want to go,” said U.S. Sen. Jack Reed. “It’s not just nice to know another language, it’s increasingly essential.”
New Era Enrichment Academy is not only the compass to dual language learning, but one’s roadmap to future personal success. For any information or questions about New Era Enrichment Academy contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directors of New Era Enrichment Academy
Marlena DeLuca & Vanessa Faiola