Spanish in the Elementary Schools

The Spanish in the Elementary Schools (SITES) program, initiated in fall 2005, recruits and trains Oberlin College students to teach Spanish to children in Oberlin’s Eastwood Elementary School.

Sites Class with Kim Faber children sitting in circle with arms extended.
Children in the SITES program play a circle game with SITES instructors.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Kim Faber

The SITES program is designed specifically with elementary schoolers in mind and is offered to children in kindergarten through second grade. SITES instructors teach introductory Spanish using an immersive and interactive form of language pedagogy. Oberlin College students get hands-on, community-based, service-learning experience in which they directly apply their liberal arts coursework in a tangible, real-world setting.

Studies show that the earlier language learning begins, the greater the benefits. These include improved literacy in a child’s first language, improved verbal and spatial abilities, and higher standardized test scores in other subject areas.

Oberlin College students of any academic major can apply to teach in the program. To prepare for this work, students are required to take EDUA 301 Language Pedagogy, which includes the SITES practicum. Thorough pedagogical training in a highly supportive environment will empower students to independently plan lessons, lead classes, and develop curriculum.

In addition to developing their teaching skills, students also learn about the U.S. public school system, how to work in a local community, and how to acquire such important professional skills as self-presentation, teamwork, accountability, and self-confidence.

Interested students should apply online .

Direct questions about SITES to
Kim Faber, program director

Browse Oberlin SITES Program

I decided to do SITES for a few reasons—to be able to use my Spanish-speaking abilities outside of the classroom, to be able to interact with the Oberlin community, and to be able to interact with kids. And SITES is an awesome combination of all three of these!  Through SITES, I feellike I have gained a tremendous amount of confidence in my teaching abilities and my ability to plan and execute entertaining lessons.

Elka Rubin ’18

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