A child’s developing mind quickly grasps and comprehends modern language skills. Learning languages builds confidence and gives students a world view and an appreciation of cultural diversity at an early age. At Viz, students in grades 1-5 take either French or Spanish in the first semester and then switch languages the next semester, exposing students to both languages over the course of a school year. Students learn the alphabet, numbers, and basic greetings, enter into conversations, read and create stories, and participate in classroom activities such as Los Posadas and Mardi Gras to further their understanding of both Spanish and French cultures.
The Lower School language teaching methodologies include Teaching Proficiency Through Story-Telling (TPRS), Total Physical Response (TPR), and various iPad Apps. These methodologies teach proficiency through storytelling, movements, gestures and repetition to engage the student, promote communication, and build her language confidence. Lower School students are fully prepared for advanced language study in our Middle and Upper Schools.
Sample lessons in Lower School modern language classrooms include:
- Skyping with students in Spain: our students speak in Spanish, then their students speak in English;
- Working with colors in Spanish and French at the interactive Smart Board;
- Learning French and Spanish words for emotions by using an app and showing emotions on avatars;
- Writing stories in Spanish or French, turning the stories into books, and practicing pronunciation by reading the books; and using apps to record speech so that the teacher can listen to each student’s pronunciation.