Our Spanish program serves as an introduction to the Spanish language with a broader look at the variety of cultures and countries where it is spoken. Drawing on student interests and connecting to classroom themes to enhance engagement, students not only develop positive attitudes and excitement toward learning the language but also gain an understanding and appreciation for different cultures and diversity. This connection is deepened by learning about the culture and language from a native Spanish speaker. Through group and individual work and hands-on learning, children are actively involved in their own learning, which fosters an intrinsic motivation to learn. Students acquire new insights and are able to view the world with a different perspective.
Spanish at the early childhood level is taught in the students' primary classroom. A focus is placed on building relationships and introducing vocabulary that is related to their classroom learning and experiences. Games, music, stories and art are just a few of the ways language is made meaningful.
At the primary level, students are developmentally ready to participate in more focused learning. Through the use of songs, fingerplays, body movements and repetition, students' Spanish vocabulary expands to more conversational phrases. When students are ready, reading in Spanish is introduced. In the older primary level classes, writing in Spanish is also introduced. Students deepen the cultural learning while researching Spanish-speaking countries and Mayan, Inca and Aztec civilizations, providing an opportunity for expanded small group work and the presentation of that learning in a variety of ways such as brochures and posters.
Students at the intermediate level have increased their language proficiency. At this level, they are able to speak in full sentences and continue to build on their listening, speaking, reading and writing vocabularies, including the study of Spanish grammar. Learning about festivals, holidays and traditions increases as students also expand their knowledge of traditional foods, sports and games. Incorporating classroom themes and student interests remains part of the curriculum throughout the Spanish program.