Why should you learn Spanish?
The acquisition of a second language has been proven to not only aid your cognitive skills, but also to improve the language you learn as an infant. Equally, the earlier you learn a language, the easier it is to retain it for life. Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, offering huge scope for work and travel in the future. It is also very closely related to Italian and French, which allows for future linguistic learning opportunities.
Spanish runs from Year 9 through to Year 13 at St. John's College. Year 9's will complete a six-month compulsory programme, learning the basics such as how to introduce themselves, say their age and birthday, where they are from and some classroom vocabulary. Prior knowledge is not required, although many are surprised at how much they remember from certain TV programmes they watched when younger!
Content is delivered via various forms of media, such as books, computer software, videos, films and songs. Music is hugely beneficial to retention of the language. Games are important as well, providing opportunities to revise previous content in a fun and engaging way while also offering the chance of competing against others at the same time, which is always popular!
The basic skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening to Spanish are developed from Year 9 level all the way through to Year 13. NCEA internal exams consist of written work and a short speech; the externals are a Listening and Reading exam in the summer.
Above all, the emphasis is upon learning the language gently over time and at the students' pace. The fact that we have fun doing so is always an added bonus!