¡Hola! An increasing number of people in the world are utilizing Spanish as their first language, including many of our fellow citizens and those in some of our closest neighboring countries. Studies have shown that exposure to a second language prior to age 10 makes it much easier for the child to achieve proficiency. The objective of the Pincushion Hill Spanish curriculum is to introduce our children to this increasingly prevalent foreign language. This exposure enriches their understanding of language in general, and we believe that it gives the children tools which will help them to succeed in a wide range of academic endeavors.
The content includes developing skills in four major program areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The children begin the study of the Spanish language in their first year of Children’s House and progress through increasing levels of proficiency with each year at the school. At the Children’s House level, Spanish lessons are offered once each week for thirty minutes. These lessons involve the introduction of vocabulary about familiar concepts and objects. The units include greetings, numbers from 1 to 30, colors, sizes, living and non-living things, animals, vehicles, parts of the body and clothing. Each set of new words is demonstrated orally and with the corresponding labeled objects and/or worksheets. Frequently, the lesson is enhanced with songs or games such as bingo, role-play, or “I Spy”. The curriculum varies from year to year, and all subjects will be covered during a child’s tenure in the Children’s House. Lessons are adapted to allow for the wide variety of skill levels among the children.
At the Elementary level, it is presumed that the basic vocabulary learned in the Children’s House is retained by the students. Much of this vocabulary is reviewed throughout Elementary level Spanish units. In the Elementary classroom, the children learn new vocabulary around themes such as the days of the week, months of the year, seasons, numbers up to 100, parts of the body, items of clothing, foods, and members of the family. They also begin to develop basic sentences in Spanish using this vocabulary, such as “Today is Tuesday”, or “The sweater is green.” The four Spanish articles and the concept of masculine and feminine nouns in the singular and plural are introduced, as well as the Spanish alphabet.
Third-year Elementary students reinforce vocabulary and grammar concepts already introduced, and continue to develop higher- level language skills, such as adjective matching – masculine or feminine and singular or plural endings are required with Spanish adjectives. Subject pronouns are introduced and some verbs learned. Increasingly complex sentences are formulated incorporating the vocabulary and grammar of each unit.