Kindergarten meets once weekly for 30 minutes; whole class.
Grades 1–3 meet three times weekly for 30 minutes; whole class.
Grade 4 meets four times a week for 30 minutes; whole class.
Lower school Spanish focuses on integrated content and language-driven elements. Rather than rote memorization of vocabulary, students study Spanish within a context, building authentic communication skills. They explore language through the study of people and cultures, which encourages oral facility, builds confidence, and nurtures creativity. Students connect their expanding knowledge of Spanish with other subjects studied in Lower School, including social studies, science, music, and math.
Young children study Spanish in their homeroom in conjunction with other subjects. Basic concepts such as numbers, colors, and days of the week are introduced in the Spanish language as well as in English. Students learn Spanish greetings and salutations, numbers through 30, and words associated with senses. They also explore Spanish through songs and videos.
First graders focus on presentational speaking and writing. Students make connections between Spanish and concepts covered in other subject areas. They use words and simple phrases to apply their growing Spanish vocabulary to everyday situations, such as describing the weather, identifying appropriate seasonal clothing, communicating how they feel, and talking about food. They also explore the sounds of the Spanish alphabet and work on spelling skills.
The second grade curriculum focuses on interpersonal communication with continued work on presentational writing and speaking. As part of Maret’s cross-disciplinary approach, students use their knowledge in other subjects to communicate authentically in Spanish. For example, they write a Spanish bird description that is included in the bird book they create in Writing Workshop. In conjunction with Language Arts, second graders explore the world of poetry and recite poems written by famous authors from Latin America. Children master basic communication on everyday topics like weather, dates, telling time, and expressing feelings.
Students focus on all forms of communication: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They explore culture through the study of historical figures from Spanish speaking countries, and they conduct research in Spanish about Equatorial Guinea as part of their study of Africa. These cultural projects align with their social studies class. Students also learn about and discuss different family structures. They reflect on their identity while writing a Spanish composition about important family celebrations. Children perform in a Spanish skit at the end of third grade.
Fourth graders work on all forms of communication. They also develop global awareness through the study of the culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries. They improve their communication skills by learning and using vocabulary related to describing themselves and others, their family, daily routines, interests, and hobbies. In conjunction with Language Arts, fourth graders explore the world of poetry and create and recite poems. Fourth graders demonstrate their Spanish skills at an all-Spanish assembly where they present songs, short skits, and/or dramatic readings.