through third grade our Spanish program focuses on developing listening skills
and using comprehension skills first, and then allowing students to learn basic
speaking skills, also having them read enhances their speaking
skills. Most of this instructional time is conducted in
Spanish. We learn about cultures, make connections with Latin American
countries, and make comparisons between languages and cultures. We learn
through playing games, singing, drawing, reading stories, Total Physical Response
Storytelling (TPRS) activities, and by using Spanish Apps on the iPad. Total
Physical Response is a method of foreign language learning in which students
respond physically to what the teacher is saying.
fourth grade through eighth grade our students have a Spanish textbook/workbook
so writing becomes a big part of their foreign language learning. They use
regular and irregular verbs in structured sentences. Since the beginning of the
previous school year I have been using TPRS. The goal is to use the language
program for meaning and understanding. Therefore, all language (vocabulary) is
taught in context via interesting and engaging stories. The result is that
students focus on listening, reading and entertainment in stories, rather than consciously
trying to learn or memorize vocabulary, rigid grammar rules and methodology.
This approach meets the needs of various learning styles by using gestures and
develop a real “ear for language,” learning to listen and respond to what
sounds right. They have conversations and composition writing with every
chapter. Students have the opportunity to do a cultural project every month so
they are able to appreciate the Spanish culture. Also, students are able to
integrate technology, language, geography and culture. One of the new
technology tools is Skype. Students speak with a native professor from
Lima-Peru via Skype. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate
knowledge in different areas such as, oral presentations, writing assignment,
and/or dramatic role playing.
the goals in teaching is to help students build a solid foundation in the
language learning process as well as to help them develop free-thinking,
critical skills, and demonstrate an ability to use Spanish as a reader, writer,
listener and speaker.