It’s not just grammar drills any more.
Active storytelling - Teachers tell stories in the language while asking students questions about how the story should go, what the details are, etc. Then students write their own similar stories to tell and act out to the class using puppets. This helps students with listening comprehension and also teaches vocabulary and grammar in an engaging way.
Speaking emphasis - Teachers emphasize speaking in the language using relevant topics rather than memorized dialogues.
Hands-on Activities - Creative hands-on activities are used on a regular basis. For example, students create and play games, write and sing songs, etc.
Regional Food - Students prepare food from other cultures in our very own “Culture Lab”, a fully equipped kitchen for the exclusive use of language classes. Students write and talk about their meals---how to prepare them, something about the region they come from, etc.
Art and Artists Students recreate famous art pieces from the culture they are studying, and write and present about the artists and the art. Spanish III students have a mini ‘Spaneramics’ (Ceramics in Spanish) unit. While speaking entirely in Spanish, they make a Mata Ortiz style piece of pottery using applicable vocabulary.
Music and Dance - We practice our listening and reading skills through the use of songs by popular French, Spanish and German music artists. Students sing contemporary and Folkloric Latin music to acquire Spanish.
Cultural holidays - We study and celebrate cultural holidays like Dia de los Muertos, Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, etc.
Travel Abroad - Every few years, we arrange trips to France and Spain for students with 3+ years of language. This is usually a 3-week program including home stays with French/Spanish families and required classes for language study. Students who went on the trips have earned 5 World Language credits through shared schooling.