Spanish

Exposing students to a second language at an early age aids in the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. We developed our Spanish program to help instill these skills in our students, and to further expand their global knowledge and citizenry.

While the program is not immersive, students spend several days a week (depending on grade level) learning the foundations of the language, and they'll use the target language in the classroom up to 90 percent of the time.

Preschoolers start the Spanish journey with classes twice a week. Class times increase as students matriculate until 4th grade when class times are increased to four per week. Students in grades 5-8 have Spanish daily.

Students are admitted into the program at any grade and are enthusiastically welcomed to their Spanish journey. New students in upper school may be invited to attend a working booster lunch once a week to enhance their skills and bridge the gap with returning students. The lunchtime session is a time for students to seek clarification and gain reinforcement.

Students are exposed to Castilian and Latin American Spanish, taught by native speakers as well as second-language learners. The passion true to the Spanish culture comes to live in the classroom through conversation, music, dance and language, as well as cultural, comparisons. Students are consistently encouraged to express themselves independently and in collaboration with others. Reading, writing and speaking are developed in equal parts. Love, understanding and respect of the Spanish culture are at the core of our teachings.

Program Components

Our program consists of three meaningful components:

Content-based Instruction

Thematic units of study include

  • Greetings and introductions
  • Colors, numbers and shapes
  • Calendar and weather
  • Clothing
  • Family, the home, and school
  • Math
  • At a restaurant
  • Favorite activities
  • Holidays and more

Explicit Language

  • Central American, South American and Caribbean Spanish Language
  • Hispanic Culture

Experimental Learning

  • Hispanic Heritage Month Awareness
  • International Day
  • International Open House

Curriculum and Teaching Strategies

RTCA uses grade-appropriate Spanish materials. Programs used include Sonrisas in PK, Symtalk in Lower School and ¡Qué Chévere! In Middle School. Spanish culture is integrated to promote a more practical understanding of the history, people, and the similarities and diversities among the many Spanish speaking countries.

Teaching Strategies

  • Explicit instruction is used to introduce a new language with individual and choral responses from students.
  • Guided and independent practice is utilized to allow children the opportunity to review and apply the knowledge and skills that have already been introduced to them.
  • Inquiry and problem solving are vital, where students are given hands-on tasks to test and apply what they have learned and to promote interaction and conversation.
  • Technology integration, where students use electronic books and workbooks, multiple language websites and language apps to meet their individual learning needs and assess their progress.
  • Specialized language acquisition strategies (body language, hand gestures, visual and audio aides, real life props, context, clear enunciation, and range of questioning) are techniques woven into the communication instruction process.

Requirements for Enrollment

There are no specific GPA requirements after acceptance into RTCA. Academic and behavioral standards are those expected of any Reid Temple Christian Academy conqueror. New students in the upper school are required to attend a booster class at lunch time once a week for the entire school year or up to when the teacher finds it beneficial. Daily and timely attendance, as well as communication and support, is key to success.

Assessment

Formative and summative assessments are conducted throughout the school year, in oral and written form, to measure student progress and teacher efficacy, and to adapt classroom practices to best suit the needs of our students.

Parental Support

Parents whose students are enrolled in the Academy's Spanish program are not required to learn the language. Assigned homework can be completed independently by the students without parent intervention.