Elementary World Language Program
Grade 2 to Grade 4
The elementary school world languages program begins with the study of Spanish in grade two and continues in sequence in grades three and four. This early beginning is designed to take advantage of the natural language learning ability and interest of the young learner. Research has shown that the early beginning provides for a longer sequence of practice and experience with the language, thus leading ultimately to greater fluency and effectiveness in the language studied. In addition, research has also shown that the earlier children study another language, the better their native-like pronunciation will be. Furthermore, the language learning skills the students acquire at the elementary level will be transferable in the continuation of the study of Spanish or in the learning of another language at the middle school level or the high school level. Through the study of a world language at the elementary level, students also have a formal avenue in which to learn about and experience cultural diversity in the rapidly changing world.
Twice each week the language specialist, who has experience teaching young students and is a fluent speaker of Spanish, will provide direct instruction in Spanish for 40 minutes. The teacher will deliver instruction in Spanish using puppets, storybooks, songs, videotapes, etc. Students will be involved in communicative games, language experience activities, cultural fantasies, songs, rhymes, children's literature, physical activity, manipulation of props, role plays, dialogues, small group work, paired work, and listening activities. Emphasis will be on communication and students will be graded on the basis of their efforts in comprehending and speaking the Spanish language.
Topics of Study Include:
Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Greetings & leave-takings Reinforcement of topics from Grade 2 Reinforcement of topics from Grades 2 & 3 Classroom Objects Weather Map Skills Numbers Seasons/Climate Cardinal Directions Days of Week Clothing Continents Calendar/Dates Numbers Bodies of Water Body Parts Feelings, Likes/Dislikes Geography Fruits Family Members Geographical Features Colors Relationships 21 Spanish-speaking Countries Size Physical Descriptions Transportation Likes/Dislikes Personality Traits Mexico/Mexican Marketplace Money and Bargaining
After the culmination of the elementary program, in addition to Spanish, students will have the opportunity to experience French, and Italian during the exploratory cycle in fifth grade. The Spanish segment of the exploratory cycle in fifth grade is dedicated to the maintenance of students' Spanish language skills developed in grades 2 through 4. At the end of that experience, students will have the opportunity in sixth grade to choose to continue with Spanish or select the study of one of the other languages offered at the middle school and high school levels.