Our Foreign Language Spanish Program begins at age three. Children play and sing in the target language using movement, puppets, games, pictures and stories to reinforce the vocabulary. The games and storytelling become more complex each year.
Spanish at Espiritu Santo Catholic School is designed to develop and immerse students in the language. Our curricula follow a logical continuation of the Primary Program that meets twice a week, Intermediate Students also meet two times per week and Middle School Students meet three times per week.
Writing is introduced in First grade by means of journals. Second grade works with puzzles, writing sentences about themselves and work on mini-books. Third grade students begin writing small dialogues and make oral presentations.
Fourth and Fifth grade students are introduced to the grammatical structure of the Spanish language. The focus is on developing skills in the areas of listening, speaking, basic reading, and writing. The student develops an understanding of grammar, including sentence formation, some verb conjugation in present tense, idiomatic expressions, and cognates.
In Sixth grade, there is continued emphasis on the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and on acquisition of the fundamentals of applied grammar in present tense. Students produce their own work; they can write small paragraphs and hold basic conversations in the target language; they can answer questions posed by the teacher or other students.
Starting with Seventh grade, we enhance proficiency in Spanish through a linguistic, communicative, and cultural approach to language learning. Students connect the elements of what they have learned previously. They express their thoughts and ideas with more fluency. Students gain a working knowledge of the basic structure of the target language using the present tense and present progressive tense. Students engage in activities such as the creation and performance of original dialogues and various pair and group projects all centered in thematic units. In addition, they start analyzing authentic texts to increase vocabulary usage and understanding.
Eighth grade students are provided a cross-cultural understanding and real-life applications are fostered. The main goal is proficiency. Students communicate in the target language, emphasis is placed on communication and comprehension in everyday situations in both written and spoken forms. Students engage in activities such as, the creation and performance of original dialogues and skits. Students can express their ideas more fluently and work with authentic texts. Students advance their knowledge of the structure of the target language using the present tense, past tense, present progressive and reflexive verbs. The focus is to prepare all students for advanced courses in high school.
In all grades the beauty of the Spanish culture and traditions is presented through prayer, storytelling, use of videos and virtual trips which allows the students to connect and compare the culture with his or her own and become immersed in the Spanish language.