Hoboken Dual Language Charter School to offer more Spanish-inclusive history classes


The Hoboken Dual Language Charter School has partnered with the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute to being offering more Spanish-inclusive history classes.

Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The institute works with schools to craft lessons on the Spanish role in the American Revolution, so HoLa has begun incorporating some of their lessons into their middle school Social Studies curriculum.

Queen Sofía Spanish Institute provided the school with materials and resources, which the school then integrated into their curriculum in preparation for formal instruction this fall. This initiative was completed as a soft launch in the 2022-2023 school year.

“Our vibrant community of students, parents, and faculty work together to fulfill our goal of educating global citizens. Bilingualism is not just a critical 21st-century skill, but a real-life superpower,” HoLa Executive Director Jen Sargent said in a statement.

“We value the importance of fostering lifelong learning, encouraging students to think deeply and critically, and to consider a variety of perspectives – and we are fortunate to partner with Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on this initiative.”

What makes this curriculum unique is that these history classes are taught in Spanish, which makes it true to the nature of the historical content.

For example, authentic historical texts in the original language are less likely to be biased given their closeness to the primary source.

The institute also developed an application called Quizstory, designed in partnership with the Royal Academy of History of Spain, which is available in English and Spanish.

Quizstory has integrated technology into the history lessons through the different scenarios offered in the app, making it interactive for the students to learn.

“I was a high school teacher myself, and in my experience, no teacher teaches what he or she does not know. You never want to be caught in a situation where a student is asking you something and you really don’t have the answer,” explained Queen Sofía Spanish Institute Executive Director Begoña Santos.

“So alongside the app we developed, there is a very detailed teacher guide with the objective of facilitating the work of the teacher when distributing and teaching the app. It’s disconcerting to be able to speak the language and not know anything about the country of the language.”

Although formal instruction with the Quizstory application will not occur until this fall, Elijah Medina, a 7th grade student at HoLa, had a chance to preview the app.

“It was cool to see how many facts I remembered about the Revolutionary War by playing the game. I think this kind of app would be fun to use in class because then we could compete against our friends using what we learned throughout the year,” Medina shared.

“HoLa is a prime example of how innovative and inclusive a charter school curriculum. NJPCSA is proud of HoLa’s exceptional dedication to student success by enriching them through bilingual education,” added New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) President and CEO Harry Lee.

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