When you were a child, learning your native language, were you translating? Unless you were raised in a multilingual household, chances are you weren’t. Children acquire language by directly associating the object with the word, because they have no other vocabulary to translate!
The goal of the Spanish program at ICS is similar. Rather than translating, which slows down the acquisition of a new language, during our clases de español we use flashcards and images to learn new vocabulary. Por ejemplo, holding up a picture of a triángulo students repeat the name several times then look for one in the classroom.
We have already started practicing basic conversation skills, answering questions such as “What is your name?” and “How are you?” The long-term goal of our first year in Spanish is to be able to form complete sentences and answer most basic conversational questions.
In addition to learning the language, students will also learn about the different places and cultures of Spanish speaking countries. So far, we’ve learned that Spanish is spoken in 21 countries around the world. Soon, we will begin to study artworks by Gaudi, hear Latin folktales, and learn about the ancient civilizations of Central and South America.
Our Spanish class always follows a similar format, as a new language is most quickly acquired through repetition and routine.
- Hola Song & Greeting : After greeting each other, students will greet one of our puppet friends, answering basic questions in Spanish such as what is your name (cómo te llamas?) or how are you (cómo estás?)
- Calendar : Here we sing our days of the week song then a volunteer comes up to tell the class what day of the week it is.
- Weather : Students learn to answer “What’s the weather like?” ((Qué tiempo hace hoy?)
- Message: Students read and answer a Spanish message, allowing us to review and reinforce vocabulary learned from the week prior.
- Movement/Energizer : Here we sing different songs such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas y Pies).
- Activity : This is usually a game such as bingo, if not an art or cultural project.
- Read Aloud: Weekly read alouds are fun, as they reinforce the vocabulary we are learning during class.
- Goodbye : We sing a goodbye song.