Appreciation of foreign languages and cultures is woven into the daily program of all Groups at City and Country. In the Lower School, children sing songs in various languages and are exposed to many cultures as part of their everyday Social Studies work.
Spanish Language at C&C: Inclusion and Infusion
City and Country students prepare for formal study of Spanish by participating in the Spanish Infusion Project as early as the IIIs. The Spanish Infusion Project creates spaces that afford Lower and Middle School students early contact with written and spoken Spanish. The project’s authentic and dynamic environments nourish both native speakers and those just learning the language. A series of activities affirms the presence of Spanish as City and Country’s primary target language: In the cross-age exchanges, older students partner with younger groups to read to them in Spanish as well as teach vocabulary and songs; the Spanish Reading Marathon brings Spanish-speaking members of the community with their favorite picture books to Lower School classrooms; the language specialist makes regular visits to the younger groups; all-school elements like the Jobs Program and community Sing-Alongs often feature Spanish.
These foundational experiences support the formal language instruction that begins in the Xs and enables C&C graduates to place into High School Spanish II. To achieve this proficiency, the Upper School Spanish program develops listening, speaking, and reading skills, fosters verbal and non-verbal problem-solving abilities, builds basic vocabulary and conversational skills, and requires oral communication of information and ideas. The sequence culminates in critical responses to literature and film representative of Spanish-speaking societies, and effective writing in Spanish. Both of these outcomes focus on connections between native and non-native speakers, and allow for the infusion of Spanish into Social Studies content and the Jobs Program.
The Spanish classroom is, by nature, a window onto diverse cultures and experiences, and we hope always to accent this by offering a wide variety of perspectives. But a teacher’s job does not stop in simply showing children a diverse world; they also provide the opportunity for children to view themselves through the language, regardless of their level of proficiency.