Spanish Professor Encourages Students, Preschoolers to Love the Language

Assistant Professor Dr. Lucia Osa-Melero, who teaches Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, is working to enrich a local preschool by having Duquesne students introduce the 3- to 5- year-olds to the Spanish language and culture.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, 12 Duquesne students will work with the preschoolers two days this week at the YMCA-Duquesne Child Development Center. They’ll focus on Spanish words for emotions and discuss the differences in Spanish and American celebrations for this holiday.

Osa-Melero, assistant professor of modern languages and literatures, launched the Niños y Niñas Bilingües y Biculturales program last year.

Research shows the sessions benefit both the preschool and collegiate students, Osa-Melero said. Young students are able to learn foreign languages from their earliest months of life, benefiting other cognitive abilities, while the undergraduate students reflect on content as they prepare and teach younger learners.

Osa-Melero, who said the fellowship will help her expand offering this program to public schools, was recently honored as a SANS Inc./Mead Leadership Fellow for the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for her community scholarship.