In PreKindergarten through third grade, our students are immediately immersed in hearing and speaking Spanish. They recite poetry, listen to stories, sing songs, and move their bodies to music, all activities which keep them engaged and learning. We focus on a variety of common daily topics in order to build the skills needed for productive conversation in the current environment. The lower grades receive instruction on basic grammatical concepts, and a scaffolding approach is used to reinforce those concepts with reviews, where the children use practice activities to put their knowledge to work on their own or in groups. As students move through PreK - third grade, they first hear and speak Spanish, then they begin to read written words, sentences, and paragraphs, and finally begin the basic writing process so the transition to fourth grade is seamless.
In fourth grade, students begin the transition into a more grammar-based curriculum. There is a strong focus on the Spanish phonetic system, spelling, basic subject/verb reciprocity, forming sentences, and asking questions. Our fourth graders learn through a variety of games, songs, and activities. The fifth grade curriculum expands upon the phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary mastered in fourth grade with a greater emphasis on speaking, writing, and oral communication. Our fifth graders will also explore the geography and culture of four different Spanish-speaking countries. The fifth grade year in Spanish culminates with a competition between the two homerooms. Spanish is used as the language of instruction for both fourth and fifth grades.
After completing a year of sixth grade Latin, students will commit to either Spanish or Latin for seventh and eighth grade. Students who choose Spanish will complete the equivalent of a high school Spanish I class by the end of their eighth grade year. Both grades are taught primarily in Spanish, and grammatical concepts are explained using both languages. The goal of our middle school Spanish program is to prepare students to move into Spanish II as high school freshmen.