Comillas Academy Pays a Visit to “Albergue La Peña”

After watching the movie “The Way” in Spanish, our students learned about the importance of this pilgrimage, the traditions behind the story of James (Santiago), and the different paths people take to get to Santiago de Compostela. Comillas just so happens to be the 15th day on the North Route of El Camino de Santiagoand has a nice but very small shelter.

Have You Ever Been Chased by a “Cabezón”?

Have you been chased by a “Cabezón”? We have. Although not many know the origin about this tradition, during the festivities of Saint Peter, a few “cabezones” (translation: big heads), march through the streets and chase people at the local plaza. The more you try to hide or run away, the more they will chase you.

Students Try on Traditional Cantabrian Costumes

Carlos Pérez Balbas and his wife, Maria Josefa “Curri” Fernandez Sampedro came to El Esplón to show their traditional Cantabrian costumes. They have several dresses, a few general decorations and a huge pride for their ancestors. We had one of the most beautiful experiences so far with people from Comillas. They live just across the street from El Espolón (our school). Once Saul, the person who is in charge of El Espolón, learned we could be interested in this intercultural experience, he contacted them to visit our Academy.

Competition and Fun at Field Day

Today we had an amazing experience at the 2014 MMLA Swarthmore Field Day. It was a full day of fun, games and team spirit. We had amazing weather this year: warm, dry and sunny.  We stated in the morning with our “prep rally” – a time to prepare, practice chants, apply our facepaint and get excited for the day.  From there we went into the first round of soccer, ultimate frisbee and field games such as the three legged race, chopstick relay and the sponge race.

Cultural Exploration: Español

This morning I had the pleasure of connecting with three separate Cultural Exploration classes within the Spanish Academy. The first was a dance class located in Upper Tarble where I was able to catch some students in the midst of learning a new dance routine led by one of our very enthusiastic Spanish teachers. Other classes included activities designed to improve linguistic skills as well.

Cool and Relaxed in the Spanish Academy

The Spanish Academy had a relaxed day today. After a leisurely wake up the students went off to their last cultural exploration class of the week from 9:30 to 11:00am. Students then spent time cleaning their rooms, playing cards and board games and enjoying a beautiful, cool, sunny day. Some groups watched world cup soccer on a Spanish feed, others made friendship bracelets, played Frisbee golf, or listened to a fascinating interactive talk about how Arabic had influenced the Spanish Language.

El cuatro de Julio

After enduring heat and thunderstorms for a few days, the weather finally cleared up for a beautiful cool day on the 4th of July here in Swarthmore. In the morning, we had a regular schedule of classes and activities. After normal classes, and our final day of cultural classes for the second week, students spent time exploring the town of Swarthmore, played frisbee and soccer, and went swimming. After eating a quick dinner, most of the Spanish academy loaded onto busses and travelled to a nearby high school for fireworks.

Tapas anyone?

Señor Adams’ students were hard at work on an equally tasty task - creating maps for a delicious Tapas Tours. Tapas are an icon of Spanish culture: designed for groups, these unique meals consist of several appetizer-sized platters that allow for plenty of sharing as well as a wider variety of food in a single meal. Since Tapas are so group-oriented, they are a crucial part of Spanish social life. This peek into the culture of Spain wasn’t the only perk of the project - the students also had a chance to flaunt their new abilities to give directions and describe food!

Cultured: Reflections on Spanish Academy’s Field Trip

On Sunday June 29th the Spanish Academy boarded two buses at 8:30 AM and headed off to Long Beach for almost an entire day of excitement, fun andaprendizaje.

Can’t Stop the Beat: Spanish Academy Drums

While verbal language fills much of our time here at MMLA, another kind of communication has proven to be effective and fun for the students in the Spanish Academy: music. In addition to a Mariachi band, various chants and music videos, we welcomed music teacher Ray McNamara, the evening of July 2nd who led the students in a call-and-response style jam session. The students sat in a huge circle, each with a percussion instrument, as Ray shared the joy of making sound.


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