Upper School » Spanish


Our Spanish program creates a positive learning experience, allowing the student to become comfortable with the language in a gradual manner.  The objective is for the students to learn Spanish grammar, everyday vocabulary, culture, and reading, speaking, listening and writing, with an overall emphasis on communication skills.

The first years are dedicated to creating a foundation for these skills.  This is achieved by stressing daily vocabulary, grammar, repetition and correct pronunciation.  For the advanced levels the use of more complex grammar structure is a must, leading to literary analysis.

The program offers hands-on activities such as field trips, cooking, cultural projects, research studies, interactive videos and the use of the Internet.  This comprehensive curriculum provides the students with enough skills and knowledge to continue studying in advanced courses at the college level.

Spanish I, Spanish A & B, Novice – Intermediate Low
Spanish I provides an introduction to the language and culture of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world. Proficiency is gained in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with an overall emphasis on communication skills. Students use written exercises, conversation and flash cards, dialogues, speaking exercises, partner or group work and interactive programs to learn proper grammar and pronunciation. Memorization, application, speaking and writing are required.

Spanish II, Intermediate Mid
Spanish II reinforces the language skills taught during the first year: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. Special attention is given to the review of vocabulary and grammar topics from Spanish I in order to proceed with more advanced material. Reading skills and listening comprehension skills are developed through narratives and audio activities. Students are encouraged to converse in Spanish through a variety of partner and group activities. New vocabulary is learned by association, word building and translation. The textbook and ancillary materials use an integrated approach to language learning. The introduction and presentation of new material, reinforcement of previously learned material, evaluation, review, exercises and activities in the course are designed to span all four language skills-listening, speaking, reading and writing. Cultural awareness is integrated through readings about people and places from Latin America and Spain and cultural projects.  By means of oral practice in pairs or groups, the students discuss relevant themes and learn to express themselves in Spanish. The mechanics of reading and writing are acquired through frequent written assignments. Proper habits of studying and learning a foreign language are acquired through consistent practice and error correction.

Spanish III, Intermediate Mid
Spanish III reinforces the language skills taught during the previous years: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture while introducing new vocabulary, grammar and cultural materials. Lessons are organized to reflect the goals set by the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners. Reading and discussing textbook passages, articles in Spanish readers, periodicals and on-line current events improve the students’ reading skills. Vocabulary and grammar are expanded. Writing assignments allow students to use increasingly complex grammar and new vocabulary while building on previously learned material. Listening comprehension and listening skills are developed through recorded (CD and video) exercises and classroom interactions. Cultural awareness is increased through readings, discussions and comparisons of Spanish language and customs with those of other cultures

Spanish IV, Intermediate Mid-High
Spanish IV students study all of the necessary verb tenses, grammar and culture of the Spanish speaking countries. Supplementary material consists of literary excerpts, films, and videos on culture. This course consists of the study of advanced grammar and composition. There is more emphasis on reading and discussion of essays, stories, poetry and materials on the culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to discuss these readings in Spanish and be able to write compositions of increasing length as they continue to improve their writing skills. Grammar and verb tenses continue to be taught and reviewed throughout the year and reading and listening exercises are frequently used in class. Verbal requirements need to be met in order to advance to the next level.

Spanish V, Intermediate High – Pre-advanced
Spanish V is designed to further the in-depth study of the culture and civilization of Spain and Latin America. During the year the students will complete projects, using the Internet, reading assorted articles and literature, viewing videos and listening to music. Students compare aspects of the Spanish-speaking culture to that of other cultures. Students study current events that have shaped the Hispanic countries. Videos, Internet articles, and readings serve as supplementary materials. Students are expected to discuss current world events (emphasizing the Hispanic world) in Spanish. Presentations, projects and written work are assigned. The following elements are emphasized:  Integration of authentic classic and contemporary Spanish language literature.  Comprehensive reading strategies and skills support throughout every selection. Reading and Literary analysis support before, during and after each selection. There are easy-to-find definitions of key vocabulary, point-of-use reading, and literary analysis questions that ensure reading mastery.