US World Languages
Allen Academy’s K-12 World Languages curriculum is intended to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through foreign language acquisition. Studying other cultures promotes self-awareness and helps students understand the world from a different point of view, enabling them to truly become world citizens. Because early exposure has been proven to improve a child’s ability to hear and mimic linguistic sounds and nuances, we offer Spanish Language instruction beginning in kindergarten. In Lower School, students are exposed to the cultural diversity of Spanish-speaking countries, learning songs, poems, holiday traditions, and more, in addition to vocabulary and sentence structure. In Middle School and Upper School, students receive direct instruction on language structure, with a strong emphasis on conversational skills.
As a department, we believe that it is not enough for students to simply know the mechanics of a language — they must speak it, frequently and regularly. We believe in a practical application to all we do; therefore, we begin speaking the target language, using comprehensible input, on the very first day of class. Many of our language classes do not use an official text, as we believe it is essential to connect our lessons with the real world. We instead use authentic materials, appropriate to the skill and grade level, such as manipulatives, realia, field trips, Spanish language news articles, stories, literature, and film.
As a school and as a department, we believe that the study and appreciation of other cultures and languages is important. As the United States has such a large Spanish-speaking population, Spanish is the language that we primarily focus on at Allen Academy. Because we do believe that every language is valuable and worthy of study, we offer languages other than Spanish through our Mango Languages digital program.
The ultimate goal of the World Languages Department is to foster a lifelong appreciation for global diversity, and an understanding that not all learning occurs in the classroom. To that end, we strive to offer a variety of language and travel opportunities to our students during their time here at Allen Academy.