Our Spanish language program emphasizes building language skills through exposure to engaging and relevant content. Teachers may use storytelling, visual aids, real-life scenarios, and interactive activities to make the language more understandable and memorable for students. Our teachers focus on providing students with meaningful and understandable language input that gradually increases in complexity.
While the primary focus is on comprehension and communication, in upper elementary and middle school, grammar and linguistic structures are integrated into the curriculum to provide a solid foundation for students' future language learning. Grammar concepts are taught within the context of meaningful language use, instead of being taught in isolation. By using a comprehensible input curriculum enhanced with grammar and linguistic structures, students can develop their language proficiency while also acquiring the necessary tools to succeed in grammar-focused high school programs. This approach strikes a balance between meaningful communication and explicit grammar instruction, providing students with a strong foundation in both areas.
Comprehensible input refers to language input that is comprehensible to learners. This emphasizes exposure to meaningful language in context through stories, conversations, and authentic materials. This approach aims to develop students' language proficiency by immersing them in the target language and providing opportunities for natural language acquisition.
The effectiveness of our language program is successful due to the expertise and instructional strategies of our teachers, as well as the commitment and engagement of our students.
PRIMARY & LOWER SCHOOL
Spanish in the elementary grades is done as a hands-on approach. Later on, students will continue to develop vocabulary and pronunciation skills and an understanding of the target cultures through hands-on and culturally stimulating ways. By fourth grade, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills continue to be developed introducing grammatical and linguistic features.
In upper elementary and middle school, students further develop vocabulary and pronunciation skills as they continue to learn and be exposed to language through listening and reading authentic, real life, everyday content in the target language. Through our culture rich content, students make linguistic connections among words and sentence structures. As they learn more about the 21 Spanish-speaking countries, its regions, people, and customs.
Students also read a variety of chapter books to strengthen the grammatical language connections. Output practice is much further developed through writing and speaking activities where students are able to show language comprehension and showcase their knowledge.
Although students are prepared to take Spanish II in high school after completing middle school, our honors students take Spanish II in eighth grade. This class continues to strengthen vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and listening skills by learning the use of more verb tenses and linguistic structures. Students who complete this course are well prepared for Spanish III in high school.