“How was your day honey?” you ask your daughter innocently after school. She replies in Spanish, “I am not ‘honey’, I am Fernando, a Columbian mountain dweller and wheat farmer. You may call me Fernandito, but I prefer Fernando.” … And this is your introduction to the benefits of Spanish instruction every year, three times a week.
At school today, your daughter learned all about the culture and habits of Colombia, specifically focusing on the remote mountain villages. Earlier in the week she learned how to correctly introduce herself and state her occupation, and then the class was visited by a native Colombian who told fascinating stories of growing up there. They covered derivatives at the beginning of the year. She put it all together, and now she’s Fernando.
THE LUXURY OF TIEMPO
All these things can come together in this way only because we give the time for it to happen at Good Shepherd. With time, kids can dig deeper into cultural backgrounds, advanced sentence structures, and real-world stories. With time, our eighth graders become conversationally proficient and culturally knowledgeable.
WHY SPANISH? WHY EIGHT YEARS?
Our Spanish curriculum is creative and ambitious and designed to go way beyond merely learning to speak the language. For 5 years, middle school students have participated in a summer immersion program to Costa Rica. Native speakers from all over South America visit our classes to tell our students about their language and their lives.