Each child has their own way to learn. Some prefer to learn by seeing or hearing, others by doing, some by reading, and others by asking questions. One thing all students have in common however, is that they learn best when incorporating topics that interest them into their studies. Here at Tessa, we know and understand this. We strive to help our students develop the skills needed to face challenges at home, on the streets or in the classroom, through an additional language.
Learning Spanish at Tessa International School
At Tessa, students learn in the language – rather than being taught the language as an independent subject.
Our Spanish Teachers use the language in the most organic way possible to communicate with their students, using not only their voices, but also their body language, signs or objects. Research indicates that the brain circuits associated with language learning are more flexible at a young age. This flexibility allows students to grasp the language rapidly.
Preschool: A Full Immersion Approach
Tessa’s unique language program begins in Preschool with an 80% immersion in the target language (here Spanish), ensuring students develop second language proficiency by the end of Kindergarten.
In PK2, students start expressing their basic needs using words like “agua”(water), “baño” (bathroom), “hambre” (hungry), and more. The learning journey starts with the most basic concepts of the language: listening and repeating.
In PK3, they will be introduced to the Spanish Alphabet in uppercase and will practice to write. At the end of PK3 they will be able to express their thoughts into 4 word-sentences like “El carro es amarillo” or “Puedo ir al baño” (The car is yellow or Can I go to the bathroom?).
In PK4 they will keep practicing the alphabet and are going to focus on the lowercase Spanish alphabet. They will also be introduced to the first phonics, guessing the beginning or ending sounds of the words. From listening to the language, they will be encouraged to use it more frequently in the classroom and in their daily activities.
Our kindergarteners are ready to reinforce all the knowledge acquired through the years and put it into practice by expressing themselves. They will increase their vocabulary and be able to tell short stories of 3, 4 and 5 events using sequence words like “primero” (First), “luego” (then) and “finalmente” (finally). They will begin to read and write.
Primary: A dual language program
In primary school, the week is equally divided between English and Spanish. During this time, students will continue to develop their Spanish reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
They will be able to use the target language fluently, thanks to the skills gained throughout the years at Tessa. Students will learn how to identify sounds within words, and combine the sounds into complex words to read a variety of texts. They will start to explore the language, its spelling, rules, grammar and conjugation.
At Tessa, we teach language through content, and we teach content through language. Every situation, in and out of the classroom, is an opportunity to reinforce the learning of the target language.
If you would like to learn more about our Spanish program, we invite you to schedule a private tour and meet our team.