The Spanish Department seeks to enable students to communicate in the Spanish language with ease and accuracy, to grow in understanding and appreciation of Spanish-speaking societies, and to engage successfully in a world of ever increasing diversity and multiculturalism.
Exposure to Spanish language and culture is both enlightening and practical, enhancing and enriching the lives of all students who meaningfully engage the language. As they learn the skills necessary to communicate in Spanish - reading, writing, listening, and speaking - students gain a valuable foundation for success in their future academic, professional, travel, and leisure pursuits. As they become informed about the world's Spanish-speaking cultures, their awareness and acceptance of diversity increases and expands, empowering them to communicate effectively with the many Spanish-speaking peoples of the world. Knowledge of diverse customs, traditions, histories, and artistic achievements fosters increased respect for people of other backgrounds. This enriched perspective is a true advantage in today's global, interdependent society.
Pedagogically, the Department employs varied multimedia techniques across the curriculum to make the learning process interactive and rewarding. SMART technology, which facilitates the incorporation of multimedia sources, such as Voicethread, CDs, films, MP3s, PowerPoint, etc., into the core curriculum, serves to further the goal of maximizing the use of Spanish within each class. Small classes and dedicated teachers ensure individual attention and daily use of Spanish by each student in the program. Field trips, both local and abroad, as well as School sponsored cultural presentations and guest speakers, support the goal of making the learning process experiential and participatory. The Department works to integrate Spanish language and appreciation for world cultures into the general life of the School community.
While the School requires that students pursue at least three years of study in one language, most Spanish students voluntarily pursue upper level electives. Honors and standard level courses are available at all levels of study. AP courses are offered at the upper levels of the curriculum.
- Spanish I
- Spanish II
- Spanish III
- Spanish IV
- Spanish V
- Spanish VI
- AP Spanish Language and Culture Part I
- AP Spanish Language and Culture Part II
- AP Spanish Literature and Culture
- Spanish: Advanced Seminar
This course introduces vocabulary and grammatical structures related to everyday topics, such as greetings, days, months, seasons, numbers, colors, weather, school, home, body, pastimes, family, sports, and air travel. Sound listening and speaking skills, including correct pronunciation, are achieved by the students’ imitation of teacher modeling. Pair-work and small group activities are employed to maximize use of the language. Role-playing and creation of original dialogues also contribute to the accomplishment of the goal. This course is offered as a two-year sequence to seventh graders and returning eighth graders. New eighth graders and new ninth graders without previous exposure to Spanish complete the course in one-year.
In this course, students refine the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills acquired in Spanish I through the continued study of every-day topics accompanied by related grammatical structures. Both spoken and written expression improve as students continue to develop linguistically, learning and using new and practical vocabulary; reading material becomes more complex. The presentation of cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world is an integral part of the curriculum.
Communicative competence grows as students learn vocabulary pertaining to the post office, the bank, hospitals, cars, hotels, animals, foods, and giving directions. Many new grammatical structures are introduced, including advanced verb tenses. Oral proficiency is enhanced through pair-work and small group activities. Compositions and other writing activities become more demanding and frequent. Lengthier and more complex readings reinforce vocabulary and grammar, provide the basis for cultural discovery, and serve as a point of departure for written assignments and class discussions.
This course builds upon previously acquired material, adding new and useful vocabulary and grammatical structures. Authentic literary works, both fiction and nonfiction, are analyzed in detail. Readings about contemporary issues such as nature, ecology, immigration, poetry, the fine arts and the media, serve as a point of departure for classroom discussion and written assignments.
This course centers on Spanish and Hispanic literature as well as discussion of contemporary issues. Reading selections serve as the basis for the classroom discussions and the written assignments, providing deeper insight into traditions, culture, history and art. Advanced grammar study continues while students hone their written and oral expression.
Conducted exclusively in Spanish, this advanced level course offers students the opportunity to hone their skills in oral and written expression. A strong emphasis is placed on a broad range of peninsular and Latin American literature and film in addition to in-depth cultural studies. Small class sizes and seminar-style conversations serve to further communicative and analytical skills in this content-based course.
This course, a continuation of Spanish II, covers more material and utilizes more of the target language than other level III classes. Students begin their preparation for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture Examination and continue their studies during the next year in AP Spanish, Part II. Further proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing is achieved through thematic study areas (student life, holidays, professions, travel, etc.) accompanied by the introduction of advanced grammatical notions.
This advanced level seminar, a continuation of AP Spanish, Part I, enables students to further develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in preparation for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture Examination in May. Original Spanish works of literature and readings based on contemporary issues serve as a point of departure for conversational and writing activities.
Conducted entirely in Spanish, this elective course covers the major movements in Hispanic literature and culture, from Medieval through contemporary times. Through class discussion and written essays, students develop their skills in literary analysis. While learning the historical, social and artistic contexts of each work, all students prepare for and are required to take the AP Spanish Literature and Culture exam in May.
Conducted entirely in Spanish, this seminar is designed for the gifted student who has successfully completed the Advanced Placement Program in Spanish. Class discussions and written work focus on more sophisticated texts and prepare students for accelerated placement and achievement at the college level.