Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.
--Statement of Philosophy Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Our Foreign Language Exploratory Program (FLEX) begins with 3 year-olds. Children play and sing in the Target Language using movement, props, pictures, stories to reinforce the meaning. The games and storytelling become more complex with each year. Writing is introduced in First Grade. Second and Third Grades do lots of acting and write their own stories. Fourth Grade constructs miniature villages based on an existing culture. Everything in Ducky World is labeled in the Target Language. Children manipulate their Rubber Ducks to speak the language while buying, selling, setting up a home, adopting children, pets, creating transportation.
The Campus School offers World Language classes 3 days out of a 6-day cycle, for grades 5th through 8th. At the end of 4th grade, students are given the option of choosing between Spanish and French as their World Language course.
The World Language Program at the Campus School follows the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century as presented by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). Our curriculum focuses on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, following the underlying principles of the five Cs.
The purposes and uses of foreign languages are as diverse as the students who study them. Some students study another language in hopes of finding a rewarding career in the international marketplace or government service. Others are interested in the intellectual challenge and cognitive benefits that accrue to those who master multiple languages. Still others seek greater understanding of other people and other cultures. Many approach foreign language study, as they do other courses, simply to fulfill a graduation requirement. Regardless of the reason for study, foreign languages have something to offer everyone. It is with this philosophy in mind that the standards task force identified five goal areas that encompass all of these reasons: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities—the five C’s of foreign language education.
Communication is at the heart of second language study, whether the communication takes place face-to-face, in writing, or across centuries through the reading of literature.
Standard 1.1: Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
Standard 1.2: Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
Standard 1.3: Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
Through the study of other languages, students gain a knowledge and understanding of the cultures that use that language and, in fact, cannot truly master the language until they have also mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs.
Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied.
Standard 2.2: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of the culture studied.
Learning languages provides connections to additional bodies of knowledge that may be unavailable to the monolingual English speaker.
Standard 3.1: Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
Standard 3.2: Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures.
Through comparisons and contrasts with the language being studied, students develop insight into the nature of language and the concept of culture and realize that there are multiple ways of viewing the world.
Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
Standard 4.2: Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.
Together, these elements enable the student of languages to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world in a variety of contexts and in culturally appropriate ways.
Standard 5.1: Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
Standard 5.2: Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
Spanish and French (5th - 8th grade)
The Upper School Spanish and French curricula are designed to develop and further immerse students in the language. Designed for students in grades 5th through 8th, our curricula follow a logical continuation of the primary program. Students meet every other day.
5th grade - students acquire basic listening, speaking, reading and writing. The students become familiar with the Spanish and French linguistics, but mainly focusing on the sounds and basic sentence structures.
6th grade - students further develop their basic skills but are encouraged to produce their own work (orally and written) rather than reproducing and copying. Students are able to create entire sentences in Spanish/French, and are able to hold a basic conversation in the language.
7th grade - students begin connecting all the pieces they have learned in the previous years. More attention is given in correcting mistakes they might make when transferring their ideas and thoughts from one language to another. There is a greater focus on the spelling and syntax. Students’ vocabulary is further expanded and students focus in the purpose of the language, rather than the form.
8th grade - students are able to express their thoughts and ideas more fluently. They use English as an aid in completing their thoughts, but direct translation is not encouraged. They are able to express their ideas both written and orally. During this stage, students are encouraged to further expand their vocabulary by analyzing authentic texts and their contexts. Students further explore the culture of the Spanish-speaking and French-speaking world by immersing themselves in the topics and holding debates in current events. Students have the opportunity to work on projects that explores the issues of the Hispanic/Franco community in the United States, and brainstorm on possible solutions and how to implement them in their community.
The Spanish and French curricula are guided by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) National Standards.