Illinois Wesleyan
The Language Resource Center

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IWU Language School for Kids: Learn by doing!

Our mission is to educate life-long learners for responsible and active global citizenship. We serve both the Bloomington-Normal community and the IWU students by providing a teaching and learning space that fosters an appreciation for cultural diversity.

Following the structure of a successful language program, our pedagogy is based on second language acquisition principles and practices of how children learn. We use content-based and task-based instruction in which children participate in age-appropriate activities. We offer quality second language programs in French and Spanish that serve children PreK to 5th grade from the Bloomington-Normal community and surrounding areas. The IWU Language School for Kids (LSK) fulfills one of IWU’s mission statements to provide experiential learning opportunities for IWU students. It also creates on-campus teaching opportunities for IWU teacher pre-candidates and academic internships in the languages; promotes community engagement, and, provides teaching experience to enhance competitiveness for post-graduate fellowships. 

The IWU Language School for Kids started in May 2015 with the help of an IWU Donnocker Program Innovation Grant. We are very proud to announce that in May 2020, and again in May 2021, LSK was awarded a small grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation (IPCF) in support of our pre-K to 5K anguage programing. We thank IPCF for their continuous support. 

Our goals are to:

  • create awareness among schools and parents about the importance of early language acquisition and appreciation of other cultures;

  • introduce children to language learning and encourage at least minimal language proficiency;

  • promote cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity;

  • offer alternative learning and teaching opportunities;

  • provide a training venue for pre- and in-service teachers and those who seek practical applications for their futures in second language teaching; and

  • offer alternative ways to use language for community volunteers.

Contact us:

Look for us in Facebook IWU Language School for Kids 


Image of Dr. Carmela Ferradáns
Dr. Carmela Ferradáns


Carmela Ferradáns holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine where she studied with the proponents of the "Natural Approach" in second language acquisition. Her research interests are Contemporary Spanisn Cultural Studies, Border Studies, and Translation Theory. She teaches Spanish language, literature, and culture at IWU. Dr. Ferradns is the 2019 winner of the Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, Illinois Wesleyan University's highest teaching honor.


Image of Maria Chambers
Maria Chambers


(Spanish, 2-3rd grade)

Mara Isabel Chambers is originally from Bogot, Colombia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogot, Colombia, and a Masters in Logistics from EOI Escuela de Negocios in Madrid, Spain.  She has taught Spanish in the Continuing Education program at Heartland Community College and was a volunteer children’s tutor as well. She is currently a McLean County Unit District No. 5 substitute teacher. She has been teaching Spanish at IWU Language School for kids since January 2019 and enjoys it immensely.


Image of Janette Lee
Janette Lee


(Spanish, 2-3rd grade)

Janette Lee started learning Spanish in middle school and enjoyed it so much that she decided to pursue the language through college.She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an ESL/Bilingual Education endorsement.She has loved traveling to different parts of Mexico and has 10 years of experience teaching Spanish grades K-8 in Chicago and Bloomington/Normal.


Image of Rocio Morales 
Rocio Morales 


(Spanish, K-1st grade)

Roco Morales (MA, Illinois State University) is from Guatemala and since she moved to the United States, she has found joy in teaching Spanish language and culture. She has taught English to multilingual kids in Unit 4- Champaign and Spanish to college students at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University. "Another language transforms how we see and live in this world”  


Image of Molly Ramirez
Molly Ramirez


(French, K-1st grade)

Molly Ramrez (BS, Illinois State University) fell in love with French as a high school student and studied abroad and interned in France, Germany, and Switzerland. She has taught French in the Continuing Education program at Heartland Community College and currently teaches out of her home. In addition to teaching French, she is a Kindermusik instructor at Music Connections Foundation, a not-for-profit in Bloomington, where she has helped spearhead a Bilingual Birdies program.  She believes strongly in the benefits of raising bilingual and multilingual children to both individuals and to society, and she is committed to her role at the IWU Language School for Kids.


Image of Carolina Rodriguez
Carolina Rodriguez


(Spanish, pre-K )

Carolina is from Costa Rica and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts. She teaches Spanish at Mulberry School and is the mother of Maya, a students at the Language School for Kids.



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