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Registration open for U of I Spanish classes for children Pre-K through middle school, 2016-17

7/20/2016  8:00 am

Registration is now open for Spanish classes for the 2016-17 academic year at the University Language Academy for Children for pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, as well as middle school. The latter program is now in its second year for the academy, which opened in 2010.

For Pre-K through 5th grade, classes meet four times a week from Monday-Thursday, from 3:15-4:10 p.m., or 4:20-5:15 p.m. Classes are held at the University Primary School (Children’s Research Center), 51 E. Gerty Drive, Champaign.

For middle school, classes are offered three times a week—Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 3:45-5 p.m. Classes will be held in the Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathew Ave., Urbana.

The academy’s academic year begins on Tuesday, Sept. 6 and ends May 20.

Classes are taught entirely in the second language and are available for all levels, including beginners with no prior experience and students who grew up with the language in the household. The academy is a university-based laboratory school that facilitates teaching and research as an initiative of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the U. of I.

At the end of the academic year, students receive a certificate of completion.

“We have highly experienced teachers, fluent in their language of instruction, who serve as models for successful language exposure,” says Professor Silvina Montrul, academy founder and director. “Our classes immerse children in a new language, fostering an appreciation for different cultures while deepening the understanding of their native language,” adds Montrul, who is a professor of Spanish and Linguistics, and director of the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab at Illinois.

The program approaches language learning with content-based projects in which students are exposed to the Spanish language through the exploration of themes such as the natural world, music, and art.

One parent whose child attended the academy wrote, “From a parent’s perspective I feel that the Spanish Program has a perfect balance of fun and learning for an after-school program. I highly recommend other parents to consider it.”

The cost for the pre-K through 5th grade program is $75 for the application fee and $219 per month. For middle school, in addition to the $75 application fee, classes cost $170 per month. A sibling discount is offered.  Registration is for the entire year and three payment options are available: year in full, by semester, or monthly.

For more information, including curriculum, philosophy, and staff biographies, visit, email or phone 217-265-9002.