Lauren H. Odle, Spanish Teacher     651-523-7170 ext 202

Skype: laurenhodle
Office hours 2018-2019: Mondays - Wednesdays, 12:30-1:15 pm in room 202, Thursdays and Fridays 10:30-11:30 am in the library
My original BA was in Music Performance (vocal with an emphasis on choral conducting) from California State University Los Angeles with a minor in Spanish.  Many years later through the U of M, Duluth, I finished a second BA in Spanish and added a K-12 license to teach it.  While my teaching career began as an assistant high school band and choir director, plus part time Spanish instructor, upon completion of this certification in 2000 I began to teach Spanish full time.

I joined the faculty at Cyber Village Academy in 2007 as Spanish teacher and school registrar.  I also worked in communications for the school, editing our weekly newsletter and representing the school to the community, but transitioned to my current position as full time Spanish teacher in 2011.

I love teaching Spanish and my greatest pleasure in teaching is to hear my students communicating in the language.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of performing with Twin Cities Bronze, a professional community handbell ensemble under the direction of Monica McGowan for 7 seasons beginning in 2002.  We traveled all over the US and to France to perform a variety of music: sacred, secular, classical, jazz and original compositions for handbells.  I currently own a 3 octave set of Schulmerich Handbells and I am enjoying developing the Village Ringers handbell club program here at CVA, a performance and service organization, open to CVA students in 5th grade and older.

I also rejoice in my 5 grandchildren, 2 of whom live here in Minneapolis and the other three in Oakland, CA.

The CVA Spanish Program

     We say that we are learning a language, but the reality is that all language is acquired.  This is the process that allows us to use correct grammar because "it sounds right."  Learning the structure of a new language helps many to build a framework upon which they can build their acquisition of vocabulary.  Others are more able to understand the structure after they are already using the language that they have learned.  (This is the pattern of our first language.)   

     The Spanish Program Aims and Objectives are stated in terms of skills and include enabling the student to use a world language effectively as a means of practical communication and providing a sound base of communication skills necessary for future study, work and leisure.  Another important aim is to enable the student to understand the nature of language and the process of total language learning, which comprises the integration of linguistic, cultural and social components.

     We start Spanish in the Kindergarten here at CVA.  In order to take advantage of the developmental level of elementary and middle school students the majority of the teaching and learning activities are based on 1st language acquisition strategies such as storytelling, skits, songs, children's literature, crafts and authentic games, texts, and music.  A solid foundation of skills needed to acquire language is part of the curriculum as well.  Students who study Spanish K-12 will be able to achieve a bilingual certificate on their HS diploma, a prestigious addition to their resume, and also be able to receive university credit through many programs. A student who joins the program in 5th grade can complete High School Spanish 4 by the end of 10th grade and be ready for PSEO courses in 11th and 12th grade or levels 5 & 6 here at CVA. Students who join in 8th grade or later can start in HS Spanish 1 for older students and finish level 4 by graduation.

     I teach middle school and High School Spanish. Students in my classes (6-12) explore such themes as Friendship, Making Choices, Racism, World Water Scarcity, the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs, Hispanic Arts and artists, Monarch Butterfly migration, Immigration, Geography and history of Spanish speaking countries, History of Spain and its civil war and other cultural topics.  They use inquiry based activities to find linguistic patterns that add to their structural understanding of the language.

     Among the novels and biographies we read in class are Las Aventuras de Isabela by Karen Rowan, Los Piratas del Caribe y el Mapa Secreto, by Mira Canon, Esperanza  by Carol Gaab, Frida by Kathy Placido, Felipe Alou, Desde las valles a las montañas by Carol Gaab, Rebelde de Tejas, by Mira Canion, César Chávez y la lucha para los trabajadores, by Eric Braun, Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha, by an Anonymous author, and La Hija del Sastre by Carrie Toth.

Spanish classroom activites

CVA Spanish


All our online Spanish lessons are designed as learning elements. The lessons give students access to read and hear the language and are heavily supported with visuals.  Students have unlimited opportunities for review and receive instant feedback to gauge personal progress.  Research shows that language learning is directly related to how much time is spent hearing and reading comprehensible input.  The online lessons are not designed to drill; rather, they use real language in a sheltered way to enable acquisition of structures and vocabulary without resorting to linguistics.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

 Nelson Mandela

Yo Netzahualcoyotl, lo pregunto

¿Acaso de veras se vive con raíz en la tierra?
No para siempre en la tierra:
sólo un poco aquí.
Aunque sea de jade se quebra,
aunque sea de oro se rompe,
aunque sea plumaje de quetzal se desgarra.
No para siempre en la tierra:
sólo un poco aqui.

( Aztec emperor, 13th Century)

I Netzahualcoyotl ask it
Does one actually live with roots in the earth?
Not for always in the earth:
only for a little while here.
Although it be made of jade, it breaks,
although it is made of gold it shatters,
Although it be made of the plumage of the quetzal it gets plucked.
Not for always on the earth:
only for a little while here.