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June 21, 2020 | Tania Oro-Hahn
The goal of Spanish class is provide a safe and nurturing environment where children feel welcome and invited to engage in conversation through scaffolded vocabulary and patience. Children acquire language at varying speeds. In order to gain oral fluency, they need time with large amounts of comprehensible input (language that they fully understand). Continuous language comprehension checks guides class pace so that children take steps toward greater fluency. This year students will use TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) methodology and curriculum, based on the most current and effective language acquisition practices documented in Stephen Krashen’s concepts of the natural approach and comprehensible input. Students are given generous time with comprehensible language that promotes conversation and develops fluency.
Students establish meaning through immersive, selective vocabulary, and vocabulary structures. Students are guided through the process of gaining and expanding oral fluency before they begin reading chapter books and turning in independent written material. Student engagement is key to success in oral and written fluency. Students will be give numerous opportunities for participation that range from novice to advanced skills. All essential classroom practices will be taught and will provide easy access to success even for the most novice of language learners. Choral responses, interactive classroom conversations, drama, music, games, and reading will give students growing chunks of conversation and embedded language grammar structures that will become explicit in time and with practice.
Students begin the term with community building games and greeting songs. They learn chants and rounds from around the Spanish speaking world and play partner games that allow them to follow and give simple commands and gain vocabulary such as introductions, sharing feelings, colors, numbers, classroom objects, favorites things, and more. They gain mastery over Spanish vowel sounds, decoding, and begin to independently read short instructional messages. Students gain the skills needed for reading language learner chapter books with comprehension.
Students begin the term with community building games and goal setting sharing times. They review familiar games that activate memory, encourage conversation and begin the process of using TPRS as a method for gaining greater oral fluency and prepare for chapter reading in Spanish. Students will a short story about a llama from Perú and get ready to read Brandon Brown quiere un perro. Reading will be scaffolded begin slowly in short chunks. Students will be given many opportunities to listen and to engage when they are ready to do speak.