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Spanish Language & Culture

The Wood Acres School begins with formal Spanish language instruction in our Beginner Two Year Old Program. We offer a truly bilingual learning environment where students will have both linguistic and multicultural competence in Spanish by the end of eighth grade. The eighth graders also participate in an optional trip to Spain in the spring.

Our Curriculum
The Wood Acres Spanish curriculum is comprised of two strong cohesive elements:

  1. A general component that incorporates the content required of all students at specific grade levels of The Wood Acres School. This refers to the school’s established curriculum and the school’s own evaluation. The special character of this program results from the fact that a significant part of the instruction is delivered in Spanish as students’ progress and the program grows at Wood Acres. The specific component does not necessarily imply increasing the amount of instruction time, but rather making an effort to integrate it into the general curriculum of our school.
  2. A specific Spanish Language and Culture component, which includes elements of all Spanish-speaking countries and applies the National Standards for Spanish Learning:
    • Communication in the Spanish language
    • Cultures of the various Spanish-speaking countries
    • Connections with other subjects: Thematic Unities
    • Comparisons of languages and cultures
    • Communities: Use of Spanish in and outside the school environment

Preschool & Elementary School
With an early start to the study of the Spanish language, a formal sequential curriculum, and a proficient faculty, students have a chance to achieve academic success and that which eludes most language students- proficiency. Children are introduced to vocabulary and basic grammar to communicate about their school, home, clothes, and food and family.

They also learn about Hispanic traditions, culture, and geography and learn how to appreciate the diversity of an ancient yet modern culture. Our youngest students quickly learn that Spanish is everywhere in their home and school communities, city, and state. A natural bilingual approach to the vocabulary of early reading and the acquisition of early math skills makes the creation of a growing bilingual environment possible and well supported by faculty and parents.

Upper School
Upper School (6th through 8th grades) students begin studying with the advanced Spanish language series. Students are provided with both an engaging student’s book for classroom work and a workbook with review exercises. Additionally, students begin to do more extended reading in Spanish starting with short stories and non-fiction texts and culminating in chapter books. It is through this extended reading that cross-curricular learning is facilitated with the use of scientific, historical, biographical and narrative texts.

Upper School students continue their linguistic detective training to become more proficient at discovering how Spanish and English work on their own. With continued guidance, students gradually master language learning and study strategies that help them to become independent language learners. At the same time, their ongoing contact with Spanish renders them more fluent so they are able to do more “without thinking”.