This active immersion engages them in literacy and critical listening, so that they will be ready to write and speak in Spanish in advanced high school courses. Students interact in varied ways with the language and are offered multiple opportunities for different types of output and production.
Our Pre-K through Fourth Grade classes learn Spanish two days per week using memory tools, color, songs, and patterns to increase their vocabulary. They play games and do skits that will help increase their ability to have practical conversations and gain confidence in learning a new language. Our Spanish instruction connects with the themes and topics students are studying across the curriculum, such as math, telling time, learning about weather patterns, and graphing. Feeling comfortable is an important component to acquiring a language and we make sure to encourage students to be bold, take risks, and learn from their mistakes in all of our Spanish classrooms.
In grades 5 through 8, students learn using a more formalized process, including reading novels in Spanish and immersing themselves in language through intensive study five days per week. Using a communicative language methodology, our students continually develop the four skills upon which language acquisition is based – writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Grammar skills are also built upon and enhanced through games, readings, and songs so that our graduates enter high school with a high level of proficiency in Spanish.
Classes practice their skills during school trips to Spanish restaurants, in Skype sessions with native speakers, and by filming and recording themselves. Digital tools and resources broaden the span of student listening and speaking skills that can be practiced at home at the students’ own pace. The Middle School Spanish classroom library is stocked full of Spanish language novels, graphic novels, and other reading materials collected over the years.
Additionally, students learn about current events and the culture in Spanish speaking countries and engage in discussions aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals with their classmates in Spanish.