Students begin learning Spanish in kindergarten with thirty-minute classes, three days each week. For students in grades one through eight, Spanish instruction increases to forty-five minutes, three days a week. The goal of the Spanish program is to develop an appreciation of a new language and culture by learning the vocabulary through games, songs, and hands-on activities. The Total Physical Response (TPR) method of learning is used which incorporates all five senses to develop new language skills. Core vocabulary and linguistic structures appropriate for each grade level are taught in addition to aspects of the culture of Spanish-speaking countries.
Middle School students attend Spanish class three days a week for forty-five minutes to one hour. The equivalent of high school Spanish I is taught over a two-year period in sixth and seventh grade. In this course, students are engaged in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These classes are highly interactive and involve conversational and situational exercises, hands-on activities, games, individual projects, and group projects. The textbooks Paso A Paso (2000) and Realidades (2008) are used to reinforce culture, vocabulary, and grammatical lessons. Cultures of the Spanish-speaking countries are examined and compared to our American culture. Conversational Spanish is used daily in the classroom and encouraged through activities, including a visit to a Latin market to purchase food and ordering food in a Spanish restaurant. The eighth grade Spanish class is designed to meet the full range of student language proficiency and to prepare students who are developmentally ready to master Spanish I in order to continue onto the Spanish II course in high school. The Criterion-Referenced Evaluation System (CRES) test is administered during the course of the eighth grade year to determine how well the students have mastered essential curriculum. Results ascertain if a student can qualify to enter Spanish II in high school. High School credit may be awarded based on the CRES test results.