World Languages Instruction at The Carey School
The Carey School believes that world language instruction is vital to a child’s overall academic and cultural education. In today’s increasingly interconnected world students must develop the skills necessary to negotiate and appreciate their role in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment. The principal goal of the program is to develop a joy and interest in learning a world language and to promote cultural understanding and empathy. By the time a student leaves The Carey School at the end of fifth grade, it is our goal that he or she will have achieved a mid-intermediate performance level according to the standards published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as described below:
Speakers at the Intermediate-Mid level are able to handle successfully a variety of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations. Conversation is generally limited to those predictable and concrete exchanges necessary for survival in the target culture; these include personal information covering self, family, home, daily activities, interests and personal preferences, as well as physical and social needs, such as food, shopping, travel and lodging. Intermediate-Mid speakers tend to function reactively, for example, by responding to direct questions or requests for information. However, they are capable of asking a variety of questions when necessary to obtain simple information to satisfy basic needs, such as directions, prices and services. When called on to perform functions or handle topics at the Advanced level, they provide some information but have difficulty linking ideas, manipulating time and aspect, and using communicative strategies, such as circumlocution. Intermediate-Mid speakers are able to express personal meaning by creating with the language, in part by combining and recombining known elements and conversational input to make utterances of sentence length and some strings of sentences. Their speech may contain pauses, reformulations and self-corrections as they search for adequate vocabulary and appropriate language forms to express themselves. Because of inaccuracies in their vocabulary and/or pronunciation and/or grammar and/or syntax, misunderstandings can occur, but Intermediate-Mid speakers are generally understood by sympathetic interlocutors accustomed to dealing with non-natives.
Click HERE to view the World Languages Curriculum and Skills Map
Texts in World Language: The following texts help guide instruction and engage students in meaningful study.
Viva El Espanol, text and workbook; McGraw Hill, Wright Group, 2005
Pasacalle 1&2; text and workbook; SGEL, 2008
Buen Viaje, text and workbook; Prentice Hall, 1994
Realidades 1, audio/visual activities and workbook; Pearson, Prentice Hall, 2004
Tatou Le Matou 1 , text and workbook; Hachette, 2002
Alex et Zoë 1, 2 et 3; CLE International, 2001, 2011
Junior Plus 1 & 2; CLE International, text and workbook
Bon Voyage, text and workbook;
Prentice Hall, 1994
The World Language teachers use various materials in addition to the text to create an authentic language learning environment. Stories and picture books, videos, songs and games are integrated daily into the lesson to enhance comprehension and oral proficiency.
Instruction in the Target Language:
Each Spanish and French class is conducted primarily in the target language. While occasionally instruction for specific tasks may be in English, it is the goal of the department to immerse the students in the target language and thereby help develop their speaking, listening, and cultural proficiency.
Class Time for Foreign Language Instruction:
Students in Pre-Kindergarten have Foreign Language instruction two out of six days for half an hour each session. Students are exposed to French for half the year and Spanish for half the year. Kindergarten students have language study twice a cycle for forty minutes. At the end of the Kindergarten year, students pick which language (either French or Spanish) they would like to study in first through fifth grades. In these grades students have foreign language instruction five out of six days for forty minutes each session.
Choosing a Foreign Language in First Grade:
We are often asked which language a student should study in elementary school. The choice of language is dependent upon a student’s interest level and the family’s personal preference. We encourage students who speak either French or Spanish at home to learn the language with which they are not familiar. Current brain research points to the importance of building linguistic flexibility at an early age, and thus the specific language a child studies matters less than the development of linguistic synapses and the joy of learning a second language. Further research indicates that assimilating additional languages is much easier once a student has been exposed to a second language.
The inclusion of a cultural component is essential in our World Language program. Both Spanish and French highlight the geography, history and significant cultural customs which make up a large number of Hispanic and Francophone countries. Students are exposed to artists, music food and cultural celebrations. Each year the Carey School celebrates World Language Days where we invite performers from each Spanish and French speaking cultures to share presentations on a wide range of engaging cultural activities.
Language study requires practice in order to meet the goals of the program. As such, students will occasionally have homework in their Spanish or French class in grades 1-2, while older students in grades 3, 4 and 5 have more consistent homework. Additionally, students may be expected to work on long-term projects for their Language classes.
Resources for Parents:
Below are various websites and other resources parents may find helpful in order to support Spanish and French acquisition for their child.
Both Spanish and French: