Beginning in fifth grade, students have the option to continue their study of Spanish or switch to French. Mandarin is an option beginning in sixth grade.
In fifth and sixth grades, Spanish students delve deeper into the topics presented in Lower School. Maintaining the emphasis on communicating in the three modes, Interpretive, Presentational, and Interpersonal, students expand vocabulary and mastery of grammar structures allowing them to communicate at a more sophisticated level. They grow from Novice Low to Novice Mid to Novice High, from using words to using memorized or partial phrases to using strings of emerging sentences. Students identify, describe, explain, compare, and give opinions on a variety of topics and contexts, such as identity, basic needs (house, clothing, food), and self, community, and the world. Students expand their worldview and gain perspective by relating their own customs to those in Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world.
The French program introduces students to practical vocabulary and grammatical structures that enable students to communicate in French. They learn the basic vocabulary of everyday life situations, how to greet people, colors, numbers, family, body parts, animals, house, city, sports and food. New vocabulary is introduced through different kinds of activities; games, role play, interactive PowerPoints, contests, technological and hands on activities. The course focuses on speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Studying the fundamentals of Mandarin Chinese, students develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Through the use of communicative activities, students learn to introduce themselves, describe families, school life, and converse using typical greetings and daily expressions. Students study the structure of Chinese characters, Chinese phonetic (Pinyin) writing, speaking tones, and characters’ strokes. Students also study culture through exposure to Chines art, songs, and games.