ELE class (Kindergartner Spanish 4 High Schoolers)


yong yan (cindy)

Yong Yan (Cindy) Chan, Writer

“you take ELE?! why? you are literally fluent in Spanish!”

“ELE? what class is that?”

“Wow, seriously? That’s just an easy way out of normal Spanish… Cheater.”

These are all comments that ELE students typically hear from people, but some of these comments might not be entirely true. According to Ms. Francesca Biundo, Head of the Foreign Language Department and Italian teacher, the class ELE should feel the same as any French or Italian class (aka second language course) since the books are structured similar and the course is placed in the Foreign Language Department.

ELE stands for Español Lengua Extranjera, which some people also think of as SSL. In other words, it is a Spanish course made for people that are in need of extra help in Spanish or are just not fluent in the language. Imagine if this course didn’t exist as an option for students…

Yong Yan Chan (Cindy)
Ms. Biundo

When Ms. Biundo started working with the school in October 2013, ELE was organized by grades. As of now, it’s divided into four different levels (A1, A2, B1, B2) with only 2-3 teachers. This program is offered to both elementary and secondary school students. Each one of these levels is made to be successful and passable, since repeating a level for more than one year is not allowed. At the moment, the Foreign Language Department is still working on the program. They’re trying to become more “strict” with the program by determining whether a student belongs in ELE, or they would be better off in normal Spanish. Furthermore, they are trying to make a new level for students that would typically struggle more with reading and writing than speaking the language itself.

Pullquote Photo

I believe that if you put ELE as your primary focus, you can become fluent in Spanish.”

— Milo Pineau












Milo Pineau (10th grade/ ELE student/ level B1.1)

  • improved substantially since he started
  • a decent amount of assigned homework
  • When asked, “Is ELE an easy way out of normal Spanish?”  : Milo disagrees because it is NOT easy for people that don’t speak Spanish to be in that class
  • sees similarities between how French and ELE is being taught

Hannah Guihur (12th grade/ ELE student/ level- SSL 10/ B1)

“ELE has been enforcing and improving my Spanish skills. I need to admit that I’m really proud, since my family’s heritage is latin.”

  • helped her develop better communication skills in Spanish
  • if she were to take ELE for a few more years, she would consider herself fluent
  • When asked, “Is ELE an easy way out of normal Spanish?”   : Hannah considers it somewhat true

Alexia Torres (10th grade/ Honors Spanish 10)

“ELE is an essential due to the fact that Spanish is the primary language in PR.”

  • knew about the program from the beginning (because of friends)
  • considers it a good class (has seen other people improve)
  • When asked, “Is ELE an easy way out of normal Spanish?” : Alexia partly believes in the saying considering the fact that some students belong in normal Spanish

WRITER’S NOTE: (based on my experience; I took ELE in 9th grade, and I am in normal Spanish in 10th)

  1. Although some ELE students belong in normal Spanish, I still believe that these students should get recognition for having to take Spanish as a second language because of several reasons:
  2. Although I consider myself “fluent” in Spanish, I still found ELE helpful (learned new vocabulary words, corrected wrong grammar, etc.)
  3. We had more projects than written exams (It would help us with writing, speaking, and using the language in context). When you compare ELE and normal Spanish together, ELE is not as easy as it’s perceived. To put it in simpler words, it’s basically learning a whole new language! Just like learning French or Italian.
  4. Personally, I feel like I learned way more in ELE  than I am now in Spanish 10. I feel like learning vocabulary words and grammar would be more useful than reading novels. For example, how would the book “Don Quijote de la Mancha” be useful in our future life?