Westerly students begin their study of Spanish in Kindergarten and have the opportunity to cycle through the Spanish curriculum three times before they graduate from grade 8—each time further solidifying their mastery of the spoken and written language. A wide range of fun and engaging hands-on projects truly sets the program apart, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in both language and culture for a span of nine years.
Cycle 1: K-2 (Twice per week)
During the first cycle, students learn the language primarily through songs, movements, repetition and games. The focus is on making learning exciting for our youngest students, while providing a solid base of introductory vocabulary words, such as greetings, counting, days of the week, body parts, and other day-to-day phrases.
Cycle 2: 3-5 (Twice per week)
During the second cycle, students begin a more structured approach to learning, using the ¡Viva el Español! textbook series to build the foundations of vocabulary use and grammatical structures that create a deeper basis for understanding and engaging in the language.
Cycle 3: 6-8 (Three times per week)
In Middle School, students transition to using a first-level high school textbook and continue their hands-on approach to learning. Throughout this cycle, they are immersed in the diverse cultures of 20 Spanish-speaking countries by learning about their unique histories, traditions, languages, art and music influences. They present nine interactive projects that include creating: a cooking show segment, a fashion show, a video tour of their home, and a broadcast of a sport—all in Spanish. Many of the projects include the use of technology and give the students an opportunity to advance in video editing, green screen use, and overall computer skills, as well.
Because of the cycled nature of the Westerly Spanish curriculum, new students are able to easily “jump in” to classroom learning. Those who have not studied Spanish in the past are fully supported in learning the foundations as they move forward with their grade-level cycle.