Here is an Informe de Español.
Early learning is dominated by the child’s immense capacity for imitation which, according to Steiner, is “a thoroughly active, participatory process. “This plays out in class by the children’s ability to say a rhyme or sing a song. The children begin opening their ears to the musical sound of the Spanish language through verse, song, and games. New vocabulary for greetings, seasons, colors, animals, classroom objects, and more is taught throughout the year.
Encouraging perception through feeling and active experience, the children build their Spanish vocabulary through comprehensible input told in fables and acted out and/or drawn into a Spanish notebook through picture dictation and repetition. New vocabulary is given directly from the stories.
Translation is avoided in the early years and, instead, language is taught by movement, gestures, pictures, art, and other non-verbal expressions. The children learn and write the Spanish alphabet along with words that begin with the letters, which is a change from the previous pictorial representation of the language in earlier years.
Language lessons follow the routine of the main lesson, which consists of three elements — the rhythmic part, the main teaching phase, and the narration. The children begin to have regular dictation of verses. They review numbers and learn to tell time in Spanish. Be patient with children who anxiously desire to translate, and don’t give in to the urge. Students are purposefully put through the experience of ambiguity and momentary frustration of deciphering what is being spoken in class. This method is generally acknowledged as a main characteristic necessary for successful language learners.
We continue creating a Spanish reference binder. Students must have their binder, paper, pencils for class; if they forget these materials, I count it as missed homework — being unprepared for class. New words are given on Fridays and are written on index cards with English on one side and Spanish on the other. These are due on Mondays. On Thursdays, we work with the words for the week in puzzles and games, as well as creating sentences, paragraphs, and dialogs.
Now that the children have begun to perceive the language in feeling and imagination, they begin to develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures through a more complex experience of the language. We have pen pals with a 6th-grade Spanish class at CornerstoneCommunitySchooland journals. The emphasis in sixth grade is on verb conjugation. We continue with Friday quizzes.
The students create and write more complex sentences and paragraphs. We have pen pals with 7th-grade Spanish classes at St. Johnof the Cross and journals. We continue to learn verb conjugations in the three major tenses, and we also continue with Friday quizzes.
In 8th grade, the emphasis is on speaking the language. Students continue writing to pen pals at St. John of the Cross and journals. Our quizzes have been moved to Thursday, since this year we are working with students from the University of Akron to create a special altar and celebration for the Day of the Dead. We will read an adapted version of Don Quixote in the Spring.
My door is always open!
Doña Amalia a.k.a. Amy Fabre