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Hands-On Learning With Flavor

Santiago Buigues joined The Norman Howard School faculty this fall as a Spanish teacher. Señor Buigues is originally from Spain and has been living in Canada and the US for over 35 years. For most of that time, he has taught Spanish to children and adults in one capacity or another. He have always enjoyed learning foreign languages, travelling and exploring different cultures through their history and traditions. Years ago, señor Buigues had the opportunity to live and study in Mexico for a year. Señor Buigues was kind enough to discuss all the hands-on activities his students have enjoyed this school year.


From learning how to make Gâteau aux pommes de grand-mère, homemade guacamole and salsa, Pa amb tomàquet or pan con tomate (bread with tomato) & maple syrup treats, to making their own Día de los Muertos alters, Señor Buigues students' have participated in many mostly yummy and always fun hands-on learning activities. Señor Buigues said, "We normally participate in one once a month or so. A lot of work but also a lot of fun."


Dia de los Muertos


Gâteau aux pommes de grand-mère

Homemade salsa and guacamole

Pa amb tomàquet or pan con tomate

Maple syrup treats


When asked if hands-on activities help his students learn, Señor Buigues replied, "When we are actually engaged in the activity, the level of excitement and interest of my students soars and actually, most of them look forward to participating in those opportunities. That is in part why I have designed so many hands-on activities in my curriculum. Different students learn differently but, in my experience, activities that allow students to move around, work with their hands and engage in the completion of tasks collaboratively do normally have universal appeal."


When questioned if hands-on learning is important for Foreign Language learning Señor Buigues said, "LOTE (Languages Other Than English) instruction rests on five goal areas, also known as the five “C”: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. All these areas stress the importance achieving cultural competence and understanding. Creating “authentic” hands-on activities for my students allows me to expose them to many of the cultural traditions of the global Spanish-speaking community in a way that a textbook cannot."


To celebrate the end of the academic year, Señor Buigues students are planning on making “churros con chocolate”, a traditional type of fried dough that we normally eat with hot cocoa. Classes will also learn about the origins and traditions of piñatas! ¡Olé!

Gracias and Merci to Señor Buigues for all he does for NHS students!!!






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