MARACAS began as a grant funded pilot program developed, written, and taught by Amanda Seewald. After seeing the great demand for this program, Amanda found a home for MARACAS both within the local recreation department and as a part of the curriculum and extra curricular offerings as several private preschools and elementary schools in New Jersey.
MARACAS has grown and since 2002 serves hundreds of students locally and now even more nationally each year to help them see their linguistic potential. Students who learn in MARACAS classrooms come out with a love of language learning and a strong sense that learning a language is a fun adventure.
The MARACAS curriculum is now available and being used in all types of language classrooms across the country. The flexibility and ease with which MARACAS can be instructed is what helps grow meaningful language learning experiences for children.
What does a MARACAS class look like?
- Thematic and Content based Spanish language for children ages 3-10.
- Music, interactive play, literature and crafts expose children to the sounds and rhythms of Spanish in a fun and exciting way.
- Uses a multiple intelligences approach where the teacher guides students through exploratory learning and activities.
In schools and in after school and extra-curricular programs, each weekly themed class is between 30 and 45 minutes and includes both whole group and paired activities with a hands-on approach that encourages exploration and investigation in Spanish. The teacher uses repetition and motion to help participants become familiar and comfortable with words, phrases, and songs in authentic conversational patterns.
MARACAS is extremely flexible and can be adjusted to meet the needs of your curriculum. The program can run either once or twice weekly. The timetable and breadth of the class can be either one semester or a full school year.
To find out more about WHERE WE TEACH or for information on starting your own MARACAS class, click here.
What are people saying about MARACAS?
– C. Dean
– J. Garnhart
– S. Laitamaki
“She always practiced the songs and dance you taught at home. It was such a a pleasure to watch her perform. She loved to read the Spanish book she made to us and she tries to teach us in the same way you teach her!
Amanda has been an exceptional teacher/guide to her. She adores her. Thank you so much. We feel that she has not only learned language, but also about life among others.”
– L. Milo
– G. Prieto
– J. Keating
“We really enjoyed the program! I felt my daughter’s introduction to the Spanish language was positive – she wants more. The teaching style allowed for a relaxed and fun environment.
MARACAS has exposed my child to both the Spanish language and geography. It is a terrific program. My daughter clearly has developed her understanding skills,even at age 4. Introducing the foods and dances layered the concepts and made learning that much more interesting. Muy bien!”
– K. Mohr
“She had so much fun and did not even realize she was learning in the process – the best way to learn. She loved the crafts and music especially.
Not only has my daughter become more aware of different cultures/countries, she educates her parents every night on something new! She has been saying “gracias”, “adios”, etc. in place of English!”
– L. Verga
“He loves to walk around the house singing his Spanish songs and we love listening to him. On several occasions we have heard him teaching his younger cousins!!
The program was excellent! My son loved coming. The projects were great!”
– C. Brown
“My girls’ experiences have been extremely valuable both in terms of learning a second language and participating in a dynamic classroom. They love the Spanish songs and sing them all the time. They also love talking with the South American man at our local gas station.
They enjoy the music and art that you incorporate in each class. They like the booklets that they make and often refer to them at home. The loose structure of the class fits well with their Montessori background.”
– L. Burke