01 Sep
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

Dulce Means Sweet in English

This article was contributed by Sofia Gomez, an English teacher at UPAVIM.

Here at UPAVIM, one of the first graders’ favorite things to ask is how to say their names in English. They will go around asking for each and every one of their classmate’s “English name.” One of the first graders’ name is Dulce, which translates to “sweet” in English. Dulce likes to come up to me and say she’s “Sweet,” and she truly is.

This is Dulce’s first year at UPAVIM, and while shy at first, she quickly warmed up and made friends. She’s a hardworking student who always does her work quickly and well. She likes school and most of her classes, and especially loves English. At her old school she didn’t have English classes. She learned a little from her computer at home before coming to UPAVIM, but now she’s especially happy to finally be learning English in a classroom setting. In English class she’s a very dedicated student, and aside from always participating in activities, she goes above and beyond and asks questions. I once asked her why she likes English so much, and she said she loves learning how to say numbers, the weather, the clothes, and just learning so many new words.

Wherever Dulce is, she’s always looking for moments to practice her English. In the morning when the kids come in, I would usually greet all of them with a usual set of questions “Good morning! How are you? What day is it today? What’s the weather like?” One morning, I was unusually busy, and forgot to greet Dulce. She came up to me with a sad “No me preguntaste hoy.” (You didn’t ask me today.) I then proceeded to ask her the questions, and she happily and confidently responded to each. When I sit with the kids during breakfast, I usually ask them what we’re eating, and get them to review vocabulary such as plate, bowl, cup, spoon. Whenever I sit with Dulce, she’ll strike up a conversation with me, and immediately, without prompting, proceeds to tell me what we’re eating in English. At the park, she’ll come up to me and offer me some of her snack during recess time, and she’ll always be asking “¿Cómo se dice… en inglés?” (“How do you say… in Engish?”) with whatever pops into her head. I also often see her outside UPAVIM (in church or in the supermarket) and she’s quick to come up to me and greet me “Good morning!” then say what day of the week it is or rattle off colors of all the objects around her.

The other day, I asked Dulce what she wanted to be when she’s older. She thought about it for a while and said, “A fireman! or… an English teacher!” Happily here at UPAVIM she’s learning English and we can bring her a little step closer to her goal.