Spanish in Action

Spanish in Action founder Maria Ure pictured with students.

(photo by Linda Cotter)

Spanish in Action in Manhattan Beach opened 30 years ago to not only teach children Spanish but to also connect the students to different cultures.

“What’s the purpose of learning a language if you’re not going to use it to travel or connect with other people?,” said founder Maria Ure, who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her school this year.

Ure moved from Argentina more than three decades ago and started teaching Spanish at Mira Costa High School. Wile working there and other schools in the South Bay, she developed a program to promote language and cultures.

“I saw the need for learning languages at a really early age,” Ure said. “I realized children were sponges, so I developed a program ... where kids can learn a lot and retain information. I have always had a passion for communicating and learning different cultures .. my goal was to equip young children with a life long skill and a solid base that will service them for the rest of their life.”

Ure offers classes throughout the year and summer camp for children 3 and a half to 10 years old. Only Spanish is spoken in the classroom. Each small group has lessons custom made depending on knowledge and age. She feels learning through the senses and different methods – listening, touching, tasting, playing games, singing songs, dancing - is key to absorbing what is taught.

“When they walk into the classroom it’s a different world,” Ure said. “My program is highly academic and fun at the same time.”

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