The first few years of CDS' Spanish program feature a heavy emphasis on oral comprehension. The earliest classes are conducted mostly in the Spanish language, using helpful visuals for students to actively listen and watch. Students practice pronunciation and accent development by learning songs, participating in Total Physical Response activities, and asking and answering basic questions such as “What is your name?” (“¿Cómo te llamas?”) or “How are you feeling?” (“¿Cómo estás?”). As they continue through the lower school, the students read and listen to books in Spanish, learn about the nuances of pronunciation, and create "word walls" to keep track of their developing vocabulary.
The students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of interesting projects. As their knowledge of the language expands, they work together to make a Libro del alfabeto (Spanish alphabet book).They plan and perform action or puppet plays to retell popular fairy tales, such as Ricitos de Oro y los tres ositos (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and Los tres cerditos (The Three Little Pigs), in Spanish. And, while studying community workers and professions, they perform skits with settings at different locations in their comunidades.
As with many of our specialist programs, we closely integrate the Spanish curriculum with the students' lessons elsewhere
. For example, if students are studying bugs in their homeroom, there might be a Spanish unit on los insectos,
while a math lesson could provoke a discussion of matematica
(addition and subtraction). The students use their Spanish vocabulary, letter-writing skills and artistic abilities in several joint lessons with the Art department
, where they make Spanish-language greeting cards for various occasions. In addition, they participate in an interdisciplinary Spanish and Environmental Education class out in el jardín
each week. We're proud of our Spanish program at CDS, and we do our best to make it as versatile as possible.