Spanish in Lower School
The Shipley Lower School Spanish program follows a proficiency-based model that emphasizes the acquisition of receptive and expressive language skills. Built upon the philosophy of “learning through play,” the program incorporates rhythm and repetition alongside elements of the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) pedagogy. As classes are conducted almost entirely in Spanish, following an immersion model, children become attune to the sound of the language, learn basic vocabulary and develop their receptive language skills.
In pre-K through second grade, children become familiar with the sounds of the Spanish language as they learn to identify themselves and the members of their family, to count, and to name body parts, basic colors and shapes, and common foods and animals. Children also learn cultural greetings and explore how to express themselves, their likes and dislikes, in another language. The pre-K through second grade curriculum incorporates stories, songs, daily routines, artwork and dramatic role-play. In second grade, children participate in an interdisciplinary study of Monarch butterflies, combining science and Spanish.
In third through fifth grade, the Spanish curriculum is anchored in authentic cultural traditions including cultural stories, practices, celebrations, and history. Units are often interdisciplinary, incorporating social studies themes related to shelter, food, clothing and literature, as well as art, music, and science. As children move into fourth and fifth grade, they begin engaging in more extended conversations as they discuss their feelings, the weather, various activities and the familiar classroom objects associated with these activities. In fourth and fifth grade, reading and writing is integrated into the curriculum and homework is assigned.