How a family-focused language school was born
¡Hola! Kia Ora! Hello! I am Megan Howie, mother to two young children, and self-proclaimed language nerd.
I’ve enjoyed other languages since childhood but never had the chance to learn until highschool. And then we moved… I officially began learning Spanish when I had an ‘adult brain’ at 14 years old, but really got my teeth into it when I went to Mexico for 6 weeks as a 19 year old. I then completed my Arts major in Spanish and Psychology at the University of Auckland.
I have no ‘fancy Spanish blood’ nor am I married to a salsa-dancing Cuban (my husband is just as kiwi as I am). I just really, really love the language, cultural connections and infinite travel opportunities that come with Spanish. I’m also really good at teaching and having fun!
I travelled to South America once I finished university and gained fluency there - enough to have a decent argument and know when I was being ripped off. In Bolivia, I came up with the idea to connect with children and families teaching Spanish in New Zealand. 8 years later I continue to share my passion, alongside my team of hand-selected Spanish enthusiasts with families from all over Auckland, plus, I now have two amazing bilingual children that keep me motivated to spread the love.
Chiquimundo is the product of many, many hours of research, practice, trial and error, conversations with parents at the park, podcasts, song-testing, curriculum testing, resource creating, observations in Early Learning centres, school visits, interviews with teachers and connecting with educators from all over the world. As a team, we’ve worked hard to present the very best options for family-focused Spanish language learning.
Our philosophy and programmes support parents learning alongside their children (because it is NEVER too late!) and having fun is a top priority. We do away with tests, standards, levels and standing up in front of the class to speak. We now have options to learn from home, in a class, through dance and music, one-on-one, in immersion programmes, schools, pre-schools and through Spanish-focused playdates with friends.
We are proud of what we do and are in a constant state of curiosity and reflection. After every learning opportunity we think ‘What happened? What didn’t happen? What can we do next time to help create more connections?’. This is why we stay far away from rigid curricula and fixed levels and standards. Learning should be authentic, feel good and be fun so we’ve based our programmes on these ideas and we LOVE seeing the results!