The goal of the Spanish program for our youngest learners is to have exposure to the language and build a foundation for their elementary years. Students learn letters, numbers, and talk about the weather. They also learn about animal names and read many stories! Songs, games and crafts are also part of the Spanish curriculum for these grade levels.
The focus of the Spanish program in grades K-5 at Brown School is to maintain an atmosphere of low stress and high motivation for the individual student. This is the program’s greatest strength.
Students at all levels are presented with opportunities to read, write and speak in Spanish during each session. In addition, pupils are invited to listen and repeat after the instructor numerous times during each class. Since young children are natural mimics, this is a logical and very comfortable technique for acquiring an “ear” for a new language.
Acquisition of the Spanish language and appreciation for its varied culture is encouraged through music and song, role-playing, tongue twisters, poetry, chants, choral reading, body movements, finger plays, drawing/art activities, online activities and so on. Cultural and cross-cultural connections are key components to all content areas of Spanish instruction.
Sixth through eighth grade Spanish focuses on the active development of listening and reading comprehension, speaking and writing skills, and cultural knowledge. Using the Santillana textbook series, students build vocabulary and learn basic grammatical structures, creating a solid foundation of the Spanish language.
Sixth Grade: The vocabulary topics covered include family, personalities and physical characteristics, the house, furniture, chores and activities. Grammatically, we focus on pronouns, adjectives, and word gender agreement, and on conjugating regular and common irregular present tense verbs. Additionally, students partake in a variety of hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus, culminating in a school-wide showcase at the end of the year.
Seventh Grade: The vocabulary topics covered include shopping, clothing, food, beverages and dining. Grammatically we focus on conjugating irregular present tense verbs, discussing likes and dislikes, making comparisons, expressing wants, and using direct and indirect objects. Additionally, students partake in a variety of hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus, culminating in a school-wide showcase at the end of the year.
Eighth Grade: The vocabulary topics covered include parts of the body, the senses, habits, hobbies, sports and pastimes. Grammatically we focus on conjugating irregular present tense verbs, reflexive verbs, forming commands, and the present progressive tense. Additionally, students partake in a variety of hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus, culminating in a school-wide showcase at the end of the year.
Students who wish to continue studying Spanish may do so. Students may also consider taking up a new language in high school. Courses in languages (American Sign Language, Spanish, and French) are offered through our partnership with SUNY Schenectady. So, students who have not taken Spanish in upper school will be offered language options through SUNY.
Spanish II and III, offered in high school as needed, focus on the integration of language and culture, with a strong focus on authentic communication. Students will strengthen their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus. Students will learn to communicate within the context of different cultural topics, such as: music, literature, legends, traditions and community celebrations.