About Dolo Languages
Dolo Publications was born in 1997, the brainchild of Renate Donovan, then the Foreign Language Coordinator of Spring Branch ISD in Houston, TX, and recent president of TFLA (the Texas Foreign Language Association) and her daughter, Patti Lozano. Holding degrees in Spanish and Music Education, Patti Lozano taught many years in Houston-area elementary, middle and community college schools. In 1982 she was awarded Houston ISD's "Outstanding Young Educator".
Patti always enjoyed creating captivating, language-based activities, as well as composing songs for her students. She wrote several full-length, bilingual musicals while teaching at Lantrip Elementary School. In the 80s, her workbook ideas for elementary Spanish students caught the eye of the National Textbook Company (now part of McGraw-Hill,) and she made her publishing debut as author of the ¡Viva el español!" workbooks, which are still used as ancillary components of the series. She also wrote the songs for the ¡Viva el español! 4th, 5th and 6th levels.
For five years, and with the support of federal grants, Patti Lozano worked as master television teacher and lesson/scriptwriter in an elementary Spanish video series produced for the Spring Branch ISD and Katy ISD school districts. She wrote and "starred" in over 250 20-minute sequential videos that utilized puppets, as well as visiting students and Spanish-speaking adults. The video series has been used in over 25 Texas school districts.
Patti Lozano composed original songs, chants and games for every unit in this video series, which were the students' favorite section of every lesson. Each song or chant introduced or reinforced the language concepts of the current lesson in a fun way for students. Before long, parents and students were requesting copies of the songs to play at home and in the car. Lozano discovered quickly that students retained and were able to recall easily vocabulary and structures from songs.
Patti Lozano drawing illustrations at her desk
Dolo Publication's first songbook/CD was titled Music That Teaches Spanish! and it contains many of the songs and activities from the first year video lessons. The second volume, More Music That Teaches Spanish! soon followed.
Mighty Mini-Plays for the Spanish Classroom was the result of the fifth year of the television series. These plays are 10-12 minute-long, silly plays, written in present tense, that review the concepts taught in the previous years, using conversant, but repetitive style.
Many of the songbooks and mini-plays are available in French, German and English, such as Music That Teaches English and, Mighty Mini-Plays for the ESL Classroom, Music that Teaches French! and Mighty Mini-Plays for the French Classroom, Music That Teaches German! and Mighty Mini-Plays for the German Classroom and so on.
While teaching middle school in the the late '90s and early 2000s, Patti Lozano decided to write highly interactive songs for grammar concepts that caused students' eyes to glaze over in boredom or confusion; hence Spanish Grammar Swings! and Get Them Talking! were born.
Patti Lozano keeps writing songs, plays and activity books. She has presented presents workshops for world language teachers in most states and as far away as Europe. She has been an invited or key presenter at most foreign language state and regional conferences and at ACTFL. Her fast-moving, creative, energetic and interactive teacher training sessions make her a very popular draw.
Some of her more recent publications include Latin-American Legends: on Page, on Stage & in Song - there are versions in Spanish and English; they contain ten gripping and/or humorous legends in prose or play format, each legend featuring an invigorating, interactive song with full orchestral accompaniment. Another popular book is Skinny Skits (for Spanish classes,) which is also translated into Petites Pièces de Théâtre (French) and Winzige Theaterstücke (German).
Patti Lozano has always been unabashed and unrelenting in requesting to exploit the talents of her now-grown sons. When they were young, they acted in her videos and sang on her CDs. Now the eldest, Ari, a band director and percussion teacher, still provides the percussion accompaniment on recordings. She is currently collaborating with middle son, Jonathan (a student at the NYU College of Law - and a passionate creative writer) on a book of folk and fairy tales in play format for beginning Spanish learners. And her youngest son, Jesse, is currently a piano and music composition major at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York… and as one might imagine, his mother certainly has Dolo-related plans for him as well!