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Sube Case Study: Hillbrook School, Los Gatos, CA

Carlota Roa is a Spanish teacher at Hillbrook School, a private K-8 educational facility in Los Gatos, California. Highly experienced, Carlota has taught Spanish for 33 years – beginning in Mexico City, Mexico, and continuing on for the last three decades in the United States. She has taught in all school types (public, private, charter, low income areas, high income areas, etc.).

Recently, we sat down to talk to Carlota about why she uses Sube instead of other Spanish teaching programs.

Question:  We’d like you to tell us a little bit about the teaching environment that you work in at Hillbrook. How many students do you have? What grades do you teach?  

Carlota: I teach Spanish to grades one through three. I have two class periods with each grade, and the number of students in each period ranges from 15 to 28.

Q: When did you start using Sube? And what program did you use to teach Spanish before you discovered Sube? 

Carlota: I started using Sube about five or six years ago. Before that I used regular textbooks that I would design a curriculum from.

Q: What do you like about Sube? 

Carlota: For me, it’s simple and organized. It lets me adapt it according to how the students respond. You know, some students are quieter or more shy, some are more outspoken and willing to try things. It’s so easy to tailor Sube to suit those needs, as well as adjust it for any number of students.

For the kids, it’s interactive and integrative. Each chapter has a theme that starts with vocabulary that’s learned through a song. Then they learn phrases and short sentences thru stories, then longer, more complex sentences, all based around that same theme. It’s integrative too; it brings in multi-sensory learning and cultural connection to help the kids learn and remember a new language.

I’ve been teaching Spanish for a lot of years, and I can tell you that with Sube, my students’ progress is faster.

Q: What made you decide to try Sube?

Carlota: A colleague recommended it – he’d seen something about it on the internet.

 Now that you have a few years’ experience with Sube, who do you recommend use it?

Carlota: I recommend the program to everyone. Every six months I get together with teachers from all around the Bay area for teachers’ meetings and I always tell them about Sube and recommend it. I tell them about how I use it and the progress of the kids in my classroom.

Q: What is different about using Sube in the classroom, as compared to other methods of teaching Spanish?

Carlota: It’s systematic and consistent. I incorporate and interpret it’s concepts with TPR (Total Physical Response), which in my experience is used pretty widely with older students. Sube makes it easy to apply those same techniques to my younger students as well. Instead of learning grammar, the kids have a vocabulary bank that they learn through song, dance, story, and characters that repeat through levels A and B in the program. It’s more memorization and stories than anything else, which makes it great for elementary schools.

Q: How do you know Sube works?

Carlota: I see the kids produce words, sentences, and expressions in Spanish. And they can translate back and forth. Conversation is the best judge of skill. When I stand in front of my kids and ask them a question about the character in the story, they can answer. They’re retaining the information.

Thank you to Carlota and teachers like her everywhere who dedicate their work to teaching our kids. Read more testimonials from teachers and administrators using Sube's Spanish language curriculum.

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