Spanish Language Program
Welcome to the Spanish page! The purpose of this page is to serve as a resource for parents and students to learn about the Spanish Language Program at Nord Country School. If you have any questions about the Spanish classroom, feel free to get in touch with Maestra Chang.
About Maestra Chang
I am excited to spend time with your students this year as we explore the exciting world of Spanish in Room 5. Although I am a Chico native, I began my teaching career in Sonoma County in 2008, where I taught fourth grade in a Spanish Dual Immersion Program. In 2010, my husband and I relocated to Chico, and I began teaching English Language Development (ELD) and art at Nord Country School. I love teaching at NCS, and am so thankful to be part of the dedicated teaching staff at this school. I taught third grade at NCS for several years, and am excited to now be teaching Spanish to students from kindergarten through fifth grade! In addition to teaching at Nord Country School, I am also a mom to Abby and Tanner, and I enjoy spending time with them and my husband when I am not teaching. Some of my favorite things to do include traveling (especially to countries where they speak Spanish), cooking, and swimming. Please feel free to drop by and say hello to me in Room 5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I am on campus.
K-5 Spanish Enrichment Program
The goal of the Spanish Language Program at Nord Country School is to provide language enrichment through songs, games, literature and cultural experiences. Students who participate in the K-5 Spanish Program will learn basic conversation skills, vocabulary, and grammar through thematic instruction. Students will receive two thirty minute Spanish classes per week. Additionally, we believe that learning Spanish should be fun and interactive! Nord Country School seeks to help students develop a global perspective and learning Spanish is one of the ways that students are allowed to become citizens who are think more globally.
Research shows that when students are exposed to a second language at an early age, they are more likely to reach native levels of fluency in a second language. Additionally, learning about cultures where the Spanish language is spoken provides students with rich opportunities to explore social studies in elementary school. Furthermore, research has shown that participating in a language enrichment program supports students in developing greater literacy in English language arts and mathematics. A recent study about the benefits of learning a second language at an early age was recently published in Time Magazine. Check out the article here!
What Will My Child Be Learning in Spanish?
Each year students are introduced to new vocabulary, grammar, and conversational phrases through literature, calendar activities, games and cultural celebrations. This coming year, our calendar activities will be based around games that are played by children in the Spanish speaking world. Below is a brief description of what you can expect your child to learn about according to their grade level.
In kindergarten students will learn colors, numbers and family member vocabulary. Additionally, they will be introduced to basic me gusta conversational phrases. Some of the literature units that they will be studying are Oso Café, Diez Patitos de Goma and Mi Libro de Familias.
First graders continue to build their Spanish language by learning parts of the body, basic adjectives, and weather and food vocabulary. In first grade we begin the year with the literature unit De Cabeza a Los Pies. Then, we will learn to describe ourselves and in writing and through presentations using the book Yo Soy Una Persona Especial. Lastly the year ends by studying the foods from Latin America.
Second graders will learn Spanish animal vocabulary, basic verb conjugations, and will also learn about countries in Latin America. They will begin the year studying the book El Mono Dice, ¡Hola!, then create a book verb book based on actions, and end the year exploring travel in Central America.
In third grade students will be studying Spanish through a variety of songs, “Movie Talk” units and Reader’s Theater. Students will learn to sequence events using Spanish language, sing current songs from Spanish-speaking countries, and will present a Reader’s Theater play in the spring.
Fourth grade students will explore Spanish through a variety of “Movie Talk” units. In these units students will build vocabulary, and focus on specific language structures such as prepositions, emotion words, and action words. Additionally, they will explore a variety of current music from Spanish-speaking countries.
Our year in fifth grade consists of a number of music video units of study. Students will learn the story behind music videos, their artists and the countries where their music comes from. Some skills that will be taught through these units include, sequencing events, comparing and contrasting cultures, and also developing great fluency with Spanish language through authentic resources.
Blackford, K., Olmstead, G.; Stegman, C. (2012). Spanish as a Second Language for
Elementary Students: A Study of Participation on Literacy Benchmark Scores. Journal of Modern Education Review (v2 n2 p77-89 Feb 2012)
Ducharme, J. (2018). Why It’s So Hard to Learn Another Language After Childhood. Time (May 2018).
Hartshore, J. K., Tenenbaum, J.B., Pinker, S. (2017). A Critical Period for Second Language Acquisition: Evidence from 2/3 million English speakers. Cognition (v177 p263-277 Aug 2018).
Helms, R. G., Ankenbauer, M. (2009). People, Places, and Environments: Social Studies and Spanish Cultural Enrichment. Social Studies and the Young Learner, v22 n1 p4-7