Spotlight On! Spanish by Señor Maestro

Bienvenido a las clases de español en la escuela de San Carlos Borromeo.

Spanish class activities at Saint Charles Borromeo, grades kindergarten through 8th, contain both comprehension input and interactional activities that allow students to express themselves in this second language they are studying. Additionally, the Total Physical Response (TPR) activities in the classroom involve a physical response to a command or direction to help students acquire vocabulary and other concepts. The TPR response and related activities help students retain what they have learned.

All students at Saint Charles are novices and progressing through various levels of learning to speak in a simplified way in Spanish. Spanish emerges as students participate in activities focusing on teacher to student, student to student and student to teacher pastime activities, games and singing songs linking learning to speaking.

In Kindergarten through 3rd-grade students are able to recite the “Sign of the Cross” in Spanish, identify themselves or someone else, greet and say good-bye to people, express simple courtesies, tell how they feel, use numbers and colors, identify foods and state likes and dislikes.

In Grades 4 and 5 students have become more confident in expressing what is being taught in the lower grades, but are also learning vocabulary for the classroom, body parts, colors, all kinds of numbers and speaking about themselves and someone else.

In grades 6, 7, and 8 all that is learned in grades Kindergarten through 5th is used in everyday conversational situations. Mathematical equations, higher numbers, speaking in both first and third-person singular, days of the week, months and seasons of the year, expressing dates, telling time, talking about the weather and reciting the “Our Father “ and “Angel of God” prayer in Spanish describe the linguistic abilities of these students. The favorite activity is the Spanish Spelling Bee.

Daily lesson plans are designed specifically to encourage the coeds to develop communicative competency. The progression is a gradual positive process, similar to the way children acquire their first language. To that end, each lesson provides components that encourage pupils to enjoy the Spanish learning experience. These Monday encounters with Spanish not only develop immediate language skills but also equip students with useful, life-long language acquisition strategies.

There is a Chinese proverb that conveys the wisdom of looking to the future, “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people. At Saint Charles Borromeo School, it goes without saying that we are planning for not only a lifetime but future lifetimes as well.

Each class is unique – and as students continue to enjoy learning a second language, it is always exciting to see what each Monday’s class will bring about. Paz!

- Mr. Nick Pascale, Spanish



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