At La Clase Mágica, Spanish language and Mexican cultural knowledge have been integrated throughout the artifacts and activities the site, designed to meet the needs and background of the Mexican origin community of Eden Gardens.

 

Olga Vasquez

LCM Site Director

Professor, UC San Diego:

In order for children's cognitive development to be fostered, they need to build on prior knowledge.  The assistance that the student's give them are strategies and resources and tools that the children already have.  So to gain comprehension they need those kinds of assistance, strategies.  Where do you look for that?  Well, in the children's culture, and in the children's background and home life.  These children come from Spanish speaking backgrounds, so we decided that Spanish would be one of those major tools for use in comprehension exercise and in attempting to understand the task that the games pose, and also the cultural way of learning in a Mexican context or the cultural references that the children can use to understand a foreign concept.  So the materials that were built around the games include Spanish and cultural references that the children could understand.