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It's About Innovation: Zach Schnug

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Preparing our students to be tomorrow’s leaders is part of the mission of the Mariemont City School District. The district offers an innovative, interactive world language program, and this starts in early elementary school. Elementary school Spanish teacher Zach Schnug strives to prepare his students to succeed in a global workplace. Zach turns language learning into something fun, something that his students remember from week to week. For example, he used his guitar to create a song using just the verbs that the second-grade students learned that week, with hopes that the song will stick in their head so they will have an easier time recalling the meaning of the words. The fourth-grade students use iPads to play a video quiz game in Spanish, taking their educational experience to a level where the students are even more excited about coming to class to learn a new language.

“As soon as I pick up the guitar, the students are engaged and ready to go. They’re excited to learn the vocabulary and learn something new. I’m putting the lesson into a context that is more fun, and hopefully once they realize how much fun they can have learning a new language they can bring that curiosity and education to their lives outside of the classroom. I have all of the resources I need because the district is so supportive of the world language program.”

It is important to learn a new language in today’s ever-shrinking world.  The earlier you start, the easier it will be for the students to retain what they learn. Like any school subject, learning a world language helps to prepare our students for the world. It is really about building confidence and cultural understanding and making this piece of their education useful to the rest of their experiences and lives beyond school.

Watch "It's About ME" video here!

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