Sparhawk’s world languages program uses a dynamic learning approach that begins in PreK and evolves across the grades through high school.
Early elementary students are introduced to world language through Spanish art classes. The focus is on the enjoyment of learning another language, readily accessible to young children through song, art, role play and learning basic commands. Our goal at this age is to carefully cultivate an appreciation and excitement around learning another tongue and learning about other cultures.
In first grade, students begin a more formal Spanish language class where they learn rich vocabulary utilized in everyday conversation and where they prepare for a celebratory fiesta using their language, artistic and cooking skills to bring it to fruition. Students continue building on these skills at the lower school through fifth grade.
Classes for our students are highly interactive. The four skills of listening, speaking and then reading and writing are emphasized in an organic fashion, similar to how a child learns their primary language. Students are encouraged to first hone their listening and speaking skills, and, as they progress, to read and write with ever-higher levels of ease and fluency.
Once students reach middle school, they take two years of Mandarin to give exposure to something different than a romance language. In eighth grade and beyond, students can choose between Spanish, French and Mandarin. The selection of one does not preclude the learning of another one or two as the student progresses. At every level, our art and music curriculum will tap into the languages being studied to enhance our student's world language and cultural understanding.