CURRICULUM

Our curriculum is a teacher based-mode of learning as much of the success of our classrooms depends on our native speaking, experienced, NYS Certified effective teachers. Our teachers use the following guidelines in their lessons: 
 
Repetition
Each theme is taught in different lessons/projects/homeworks with the same content. Repetition increases language acquisition and helps students feel more comfortable and confident about the lessons as they become more familiar with the vocabulary.
 
Routine and Structure
We create a safe and comfortable environment for our students by establishing a consistent routine and structure so that students can predict what is going to happen next and what is expected of them. 
 
Full Immersion
We establish a consistent routine of speaking Spanish 95% of the time to make the Spanish that we use in class comprehensible to our students by using simple vocabulary, direct language and creating structures that incorporate a large amount of materials that are familiar to our students. The use of concrete materials, modeling, visuals, gestures, facial expressions and movements are incorporated into each lesson. 
 
Resources
Our students use our curriculum's CDs to learn the songs related to each theme covered and have access to web based programs in order to practice their vocabulary.
 
Multi-Modal Methodologies
Our curriculum follows the theoretical framework of Bloom & Lahey as a guidance to reinforce the acquisition of new language content in our students with the integration of previously learned concepts. We also use the Total Physical Response Approach, The Natural Approach, The Waldorf Foreign Language Approach and Content Based Instruction Approach. Utilizing a combination of the above referenced approaches allows our students to manipulate objects and pictures in fun activities associated with the daily lessons to facilitate learning through all senses. Art, music, cooking, cultural literacy, math, social studies and science activities are incorporated into each lesson. 
 
Pacing
We make sure that our students are always interested and engaged and the overall pacing of each lesson is adjusted to the interest and energy levels of our students.
 
Differentiated Instruction
Our teachers acknowledge the uniqueness of each student and use modifications in response to students needs as they come from different backgrounds, a range of language ability levels and a variety of learning profiles. When it comes to teaching Spanish, one size does not fit all. Our teachers have genuine interactions with each student individually while in a group activitity setting so that they are able to experience oppotunities that will help the student reach their full potential. 
 
Homework
Students take home worksheets to help reinforce vocabulary and extend the student's learning beyond the boundries of the classroom. 
 
Assessment
Our assessment rubrics are designed to assess students' achievements depending on age level. Assessments are based on the following:
  • Recognition
  • Distinction
  • Knowledge
  • Applications of Concepts in the following areas
    • Communication
    • Grammar
    • Pronunciation
    • Listening, Reading & Writing
 
Role of Parents
Parents do not have to understand Spanish to help their child boost his/her language skills. Here is how parents can support language learning at home:
 
  • Recognize the value of learning a second language - A parent's attitude toward learning Spanish is crucial to a child's success and must always recognize the value of learning a second language in a changing world.
  • Practice makes perfect - Learning a second language is like learning to play an instrument, and parents need to help their children to make time to practice.
  • Be involved in you child's studying of a second language - There is no reason why parents shold have to conjugate Spanish verbs or pound out a paragraph in Modern Greek. But, they should make time to help their children "PRACTICE' the second language and stay away from saying 'It's better if you do it yourself... you will not really learn if I help you... I do not understand it..' 
  • Be Positive - A positive attitude towards learning a second language will motivate your child by creating a better learning environment.
  • Supervise your child's homework - Even though supervising homework offers special challenges if you do not understand the Spanish language, encourage your child to tell you on English what he/she learned in Spanish class that day. Look over the homework to be sure that it is complete, even if you do not understand it. All of the encouragement will translate to positive results for Spanish language studies.