St. Mary’s students enter the world of foreign language at the Prekindergarten level. PreK and Kindergarten students have class once a week, second through fourth-grade students meet twice a week, and fifth graders have three Spanish classes weekly. With each consecutive year, their Spanish language skills increase cumulatively in a dynamic, interactive, and meaningful way. At all levels, careful attention is given to practicing all five skills identified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as essential to learning a foreign language: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural awareness.
Our core curriculum, Teach Them Spanish, provides a coherent framework of vocabulary and grammatical structures from pre-K through fifth grade. Videos, music, projects, guest presentations, and books by prominent authors expand upon these core skills, enhancing each child's ability to comprehend and communicate in Spanish.
SPANISH CURRICULUM OVERVIEWS
Our first-grade students have Spanish class twice a week. Their themes and exercises come from two programs designed specifically for young learners: Sube: Learning Language thru Art, Music, and Games and Teach Them Spanish by Winnie Waltzer-Hackett. First-graders also participate in a variety of games, projects, and role-plays to reinforce prior knowledge and introduce new material. Educational films, music, and picture books help us bring Hispanic culture, history, and geography to life in the classroom.
Our second-grade students have Spanish class twice a week. Second-graders expand upon themes, structures, and vocabulary introduced in the Sube and Teach Them Spanish programs. A variety of games, projects, songs, picture books, and role-plays give all learners a chance to participate. Educational videos, library books, and traditional music also expand our world view in Spanish class.
Our third-grade students have Spanish class twice a week. On Wednesdays, they meet in small groups. We use this time for conversation practice or to introduce new vocabulary and grammar. On Thursdays, the whole class meets together for full-class activities. Third-graders review and expand upon themes, structures, and vocabulary introduced in the Sube and Teach Them Spanish programs. Educational videos, library books, and traditional music are other “windows” through which they learn about the history, geography, and culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Throughout the year, in collaboration with computer class, third-graders will also report on the history, geography, and culture of several Spanish-speaking countries.
Our fourth-grade students have Spanish class twice a week. They review and expand upon themes, structures, and vocabulary introduced in the Sube and Teach Them Spanish curricula. Fourth-graders also learn more about Hispanic culture through educational videos and traditional music. Throughout the year, fourth-graders will also explore the history, geography, culture, and influence of Spain on the Spanish-speaking world.
Our fifth-grade students have Spanish class three times a week. Fifth-graders review and build upon themes, structures, and vocabulary previously introduced in the Sube and Teach Them Spanish curricula. They will be working through the book , Buen Viaje, which introduces them to vocabulary and basic Spanish grammar, and cultural differences in the Spanish-speaking world. Educational videos, research, and role-plays provide additional opportunities to learn more about Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. The fifth grade class also traditionally performs “LAS POSADES” the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter for the birth of Jesus. The production is done completely in Spanish.
Spanish becomes a core subject in our Middle School with the goal of completing level one high school Spanish by 8th grade.