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Spanish Language Program

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Nikki Williams

Director of Enrolments and Communications Cont-tara

Spanish Language Program

In 2014 Spanish was introduced in the Junior School as part of our implementation of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. As a School we recognise that all teachers assume responsibility for language development of students and we place importance on language learning.

Spanish was introduced for many reasons, not least of which is our implementation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). The IB asks that as a School we recognise that all teachers assume responsibility for language development of students and that we place importance on language learning. We chose Spanish because it is an official language of the United Nations and is spoken in over 20 countries. It has 330 million native speakers and 120 million people who have it as their second language. We also chose Spanish for its relative ease of acquisition. We deliberately chose Spanish because it is not taught in the Senior School. There is a school of thought that after learning a language for six years, young learners can reach saturation point and need to take on a different challenge. We believe that Spanish, with its many connections to other languages, will eventually provide a sound springboard for language learning in the Senior School. While we aim for the girls to graduate from our Spanish program with sound knowledge and skills, our primary aim is that they develop a love of language learning and strong sense of its relevancy for them.

 

 

Spanish learning is embedded in and integral to the life of the classroom. The girls have the benefit of three Spanish lessons every week. They learn with a specialist language teacher who plans and teaches the lessons together with the class teachers, so Junior School teachers are learning Spanish alongside their girls. This means the girls are experiencing Spanish often, both formally during Spanish lessons, but also importantly, incidentally as their teacher is able to bring in Spanish vocabulary naturally and in a meaningful way throughout the week. Research has linked learning a language with increased intellectual enrichment, cognitive development, literacy, tolerance and respect, adaptability and opportunities to develop friendships. 

Additional languages students can learn through the Tara Enrichment Centre

 

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