The Spanish curriculum at Williamsburg Northside School opens up new worlds of communication and cultural understanding for our K-8 students. It is our mission to develop a progressive curriculum that supports students learning in an environment based on their interests that recognizes the worth of cultural diversity and promotes global citizenship.
Students will study and work in interdisciplinary projects within each thematic unit and form connections to their Spanish curriculum and everyday life. Students sometimes will find themselves working independently and in groups.
The content of our Spanish program is aligned with the National Standards for Foreign Language Education, the Common Core Anchor Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, and three modes for the Novice-Mid level.
Three Modes of Communication
The Interpersonal Mode is characterized by the active negotiation of meaning among students. Students observe and monitor one another to see how their meanings and intentions are being communicated. Adjustments and clarifications are made accordingly.
The Interpretive Mode focuses on the appropriate cultural interpretation of meanings that occur in written and spoken form where there is no recourse to active negotiation of meaning with the writer or the speaker.
The Presentational Mode refers to the creation of oral and written messages in a manner that facilitates interpretation by members of the other culture where no direct opportunity for the active negotiation of meaning between members of the two cultures exists.
Lower School Spanish
Selected Key Skills
Recognizes, reproduces Spanish sounds with accuracy
Incorperates new vocabulary into known structures to express ideas
Develop ability to understand main idea, simple phrases, and details on familiar written and spoken language
Gains accuracy in writing language structure: verb conjugations, word order, tones
Able to construct simple to complex sentences in Spanish
Middle School Spanish
Building on top of their lower school experience, students in 5th-8th develop their communication skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) while increasing their cultural awareness of the Spanish speaking-world. Emphasis is placed on oral and written communication where students develop their understanding of language structures to express themselves with comfort and accuracy when talking about familiar topics. Grammar topics include past, present, and future tenses, verb conjugations, and parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions).
As for developing cultural awareness, students engage in webquests, country studies, virtual trips, musica miercoles, baile viernes, and project based learning opportunities where they research elements of the spanish culture that are of interest to them.
To support our native Spanish speakers, we offer a Heritage Learner track that challenges their academic and cultural development.
“Culture” is the core of the Chinese Mandarin program. Students will not only develop their interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills by engaging and student-centered activities, but will also learn Chinese cultures and their classmates’ cultures through interdisciplinary projects and real-life learning tasks, finally gaining the ability to view the world through a different lens and appreciate its diversity.
The program aligns with the World Readiness Standards for Language Learning and refers to the Common Core State Standards. NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements are used to outline students’ proficiency levels.
The content of the Chinese Mandarin program matches the Spanish course, which will enable students to find the connections between the two languages. It is also related to the grade level content of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, and thus enriches students’ learning of all subjects.
Identify some basic facts in conversations and fictional and informational texts
Request and provide information by asking and answering a few simple questions on very familiar and everyday topics
Express preferences or feelings, and basic needs related to familiar and everyday activities
Present information about interests and daily activities
Identify some typical Chinese products (e.g., food, fruits, etc.) and practices (e.g., table manners, festival celebrations, etc.)
Use appropriate rehearsed behaviors and recognize some obviously inappropriate behaviors in familiar everyday situations