As part of our mission to offer a globally minded education for our students, all Lower School children participate in our Spanish program every day. The goal of our Spanish program is that our students will be launched on a path to bilingualism.
In our PreK and Kindergarten Partial Immersion Spanish program, a percentage of each day takes place in Spanish. All of our Associate Teachers are bilingual in Spanish and English and they use context clues and familiar routines to help students learn the language. Children participate in many group activities in Spanish including songs, games, and 阅读 alouds, and the language is woven throughout all curricular areas. Research shows that second language instruction is most effective when taught in content areas where language becomes necessary as a tool for discovery, and our program is structured around this idea.
Students in grades 1-4 receive instruction in Spanish from Bilingual Spanish teachers who push into the classrooms. They learn and practice foundational grammatical skills as well as both basic conversational vocabulary and vocabulary related to thematic units. These units are taught through games, songs, visuals, and an approach called Total Physical Response. Our Spanish curriculum has been designed so that students can practice language skills involving real life situations and, as in PreK and Kindergarten, many classroom routines and transitions are conducted in Spanish.
The critical thinking, flexibility, and appreciation of diversity and other cultures that are essential to this approach to language learning will enhance future learning in all subject areas.