PlaySpanish™ is an educational program designed with the objective of making Spanish instruction fun and effective. It's based on a propietary, play-based curriculum where children learn while taking part in a variety of activities which include games, music, dancing, puppets, arts and crafts, stories, role-playing and more! As several parents have said: "PlaySpanish™ is learning made fun."
We, Carmela Tondo-Mata and Ricardo Mata, started the program in January 1997 with a group of 5 students. After 21 years in business, we, along with our staff, have played with over 15,000 children throughout the Greater Charlotte area.
The classes are led by degreed native speakers and conducted in a small-group setting with an average class size of 8 students. The groups are organized by age and previous exposure to the language so that nobody feels left out or behind. In a typical group, the age range is no more than 2 or 2 ½ years of age between the youngest and the oldest child. Classes last between 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the age of the children.
Parents are encouraged to join us in class whenever possible. Since the setting is very casual, a PlaySpanish™ class is a great way to relax and spend quality time with your child.
Who Are We?
We are natives of Venezuela and Spanish is our native language. Carmela holds a B.A. in Education from Universidad de Carabobo in Valencia, Venezuela. She has 30 years of teaching experience working with children of all ages. Carmela, the heart and soul of PlaySpanish™, designs and develops the curricula, themes, activities and material used in class.
Carmela is temporarily in Italy while attending to family matters. She is, however, still fully involved with PlaySpanish™.
Ricardo holds degrees in Business Administration and Hotels Management. After several years in the corporate world, he went back to his true passion: Working with children. During his High School and college years in Venezuela, he taught English as a Second Language to Elementary, Middle and High School students.
While Carmela is absent, Ricardo is teaching most classes and taking care of the business side of the program.
Our sons (one now in graduate school and one in his senior year of college) attended the PlaySpanish camps for years, and I can say without reservation that those camps were exceptionally meaningful. To this day we still reminisce with great fondness and gratitude about what a fabulous experience both of our sons had.
As parents, especially ones in the legal profession, my husband and I never took lightly entrusting others with the care and education of our sons. I can say without reservation that I would still entrust our sons with the staff at PlaySpanish.
During their time at PlaySpanish, our sons were engaged, entertained, and educated. They had FUN while learning.
Our experience with PlaySpanish opened my eyes up to the need for children starting to learn languages at an early age. In addition to brain development and expansion, learning languages will be a necessary competitive advantage for students entering the workforce in the future. Our sons’ time at PlaySpanish got them ahead of the curve with foreign language exposure! Thank you to the folks at PlaySpanish for being a building block for our sons’ futures!
I cannot speak highly enough of Play Spanish. My children loved the classes and especially Mr. Ricardo’s playful attitude! As a parent, I knew my kids were in good hands. As a teacher, I also knew the educational model was top-notch.