Taking advantage of the benefits of early language instruction, Lower School students study Spanish in Grades 2 through 5. The Lower School Spanish teacher and members of the 2-3 and 4-5 teams collaborate to design curricula integrated with other disciplines in the Lower School program. In addition, Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 students are exposed to the language through song and movement. This foundation helps to prepare children for daily Spanish lessons in Grade 2.
Goals for the Grades 2 through 5 Spanish programs include the development of language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as knowledge of cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Instruction occurs in the regular classroom setting, emphasizing ongoing topics of study, communicative interactions, and specific cultural themes. Activities include songs and chants, role-playing and skits, games, reading, arts and crafts, and the use of props and culturally authentic materials. Movement and physical activity in response to prompts are also important components of Spanish classes. The 4-5 Spanish program marks a shift from primarily oral and aural activities to more reading, writing, and grammar skills. This additional focus lays a foundation for continuing the language program in Spanish, or starting Latin, French, Chinese, and other non-native language study.
The following are goals for the Lower School Spanish program. These goals are consistent with the standards articulated in the State of Maine Learning Results.