Bearing in mind our community needs and our location, beginning in Kindergarten, students choose either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish to study. Guthrie School students are encouraged take at least two years of their chosen language before contemplating a change to another language.
Our language curriculum focuses on building language skills as well as enhancing cultural awareness. Numerous studies have shown when students study foreign language, their analytical skills, problem solving abilities, and understanding of abstract concepts improves. Creativity, math, reading, memory, and listening skills are also enhanced by the study of foreign languages.
We use age-appropriate Chinese textbooks for each student according to their Chinese level of understanding. We focus on improving students’ listening, speaking, reading. and writing skills. Our “Chinese Culture” teaching section introduces a variety of cultural topics to help students understand basic Chinese culture as they learn more about China. The class activities are varied, fun, interesting, challenging, and designed to expand the students’ knowledge, increase their motivation, and improve their ability to communicate in Chinese.
Touch Spanish by Gabriela Wilcox is a hands-on curriculum for teaching Spanish to children. Due to its built-in “Control of Error,” children can advance at their own pace and check their own progress.
In level one children are introduced to isolated vocabulary followed by questions and answers which allows the development of conversational skills.
Phonics is an excellent companion to Touch Spanish. In level two, the children are presented with basic and advanced reading skills, featuring phonics, to cement the correct pronunciation of the Spanish language.
In level three, the learning continues with guidance in building complex sentences, proper grammar structure, and conjugation of verbs. Through graphic representation cards, the children are able to complete short paragraphs and stories.
Projects and Extensions
Art, history, geography, and more come together here, along with conversational skills. These are hands-on projects full of fun which allow the children to express themselves in their own words about their project.