The Spanish program at The Long Ridge School is designed to create an environment in which each child feels confident and comfortable expressing themselves in Spanish. Spanish should be an enjoyable way to communicate and learn about different cultures. Children should learn the basics of Spanish while sharing, cooperating and respecting others. Spanish classes are scheduled twice a week for each K–5 class and once a week for Nursery school classes.
In K–1, we focus on identifying words and sounds with visual aids. Students look, listen, and repeat after the teacher. They learn to answer simple questions and describe what they see. Spanish is an active class when children identify objects, play games, sing action songs, draw, color and cut pictures. They also follow the reading of books and watch videos in Spanish. All the activities reinforce vocabulary and concepts that are being studied, e.g. greetings, numbers up to 50, colors, shapes, opposites, animals and their environments, fruit and vegetables, clothing, days of the week, time expressions, months, seasons, weather expressions, parts of the body, the alphabet and sounds, the family, school items, etc.
In Grades 2–3, the goal is to identify sounds and written words and continue the work of previous years. The students also explore reading simple books in Spanish by themselves, understand context, write words, and build simple sentences. They enjoy solving puzzles, matching words and pictures, drawing, coloring, filling blanks in words, unscrambling words, etc. Throughout the year, the students increase the number of words in their Spanish vocabulary, e.g., numbers up to 100, house nouns, time expressions, food nouns and mealtime, the five senses, weather, positions, school subjects, names of occupations, workplaces and related activities, places in the neighborhood, means of communication, means of transportation, etc.
For Grades 4–5, a major objective of the Spanish program is to encourage students to express themselves using as much Spanish as possible. They are able to hold a simple conversation answering simple questions and giving complete answers. They can describe objects and situations, and express feelings and ideas. They also write some of the basic vocabulary. Listening skills continue to be developed by reading books together, watching videos and listening to tapes. Students feel confident reading simple books by themselves with good pronunciation and intonation, and they learn how to follow oral or written directions. They further their knowledge of Spanish, building on the curriculum of the previous years, e.g. more greetings and common phrases, verbs, adjectives and comparisons, nouns and gender, time expressions, and weather expressions, clothing, food nouns and mealtime, physical characteristics, shopping, school items, supermarket items, daily activities, ordering from a menu, time expressions, places in the community and Hispanic culture.