¡Noticias de la clase de español! News from Spanish class!
Every now and then you might see a sign posted somewhere around town that says: “Se habla español”. We all know that it means that Spanish is spoken by someone at that location. A sign is posted at school, on the “Bienvenidos a la Escuela McGraw” bulletin board that says: “Se habla un poco de español”. That sign is there because all students at our school can speak a little Spanish, whether it is a few words, an expression, complete statements, or short conversations. Mistakes are made but are part of the process of learning and speaking in a foreign language; in this process the students are “getting the ear and losing the fear”.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) requires that children gain the experience of learning an additional language during their years in primary school. One of the goals of exposing children to languages other than their mother tongue is to provide an insight into and appreciation of other cultures, as well as to lay the groundwork for students to learn the language for the purpose of real communication which is in line with the PYP philosophy of fostering learning that is both relevant and significant (PYP: Learning Additional Languages in the Primary Years).
The PSD World Language Curriculum has been revised and is in alignment with the Colorado Department of Education World Language Standards. Moderate changes were made to the Elementary Spanish Curriculum to increase the production of language by the students. Students will be encouraged to use the language for some common activities, such as introducing themselves, ordering food at a restaurant, expressing likes and dislikes, or maybe selecting clothes at a store. The curriculum will primarily focus on the development of five themes through which the language will be taught: Who I Am, What I Eat, Who is my Family, My Life as a Student, and The World I live in. Each theme has specific vocabulary that is appropriate for each grade level. The learning targets of these themes will be listening, reading, person-to-person interaction, speaking (presentation), and writing. The students will be encouraged to say what they can do with the language at the end of a Spanish unit of study. One Spanish unit of study will be integrated into a unit of inquiry for each grade level.
The best way to support your students and encourage them to use Spanish outside of the classroom is to ask each day what they can say in Spanish. Students should be able to make “I can” statements to show their ability to use the language, such as: “I can tell the date in Spanish” (3rd grade) or “I can describe how I am to someone in Spanish (personality)” (2nd grade), or “I can list places in the school” (4th grade).
Asi que ahora ¡A hablar español! Let’s speak Spanish now!