Benefits of Learning Spanish
Spanish is taught beginning in Kindergarten through Fourth Grades and is offered as an elective in middle school. In the elementary grades, we use the Classical Academic Press Curriculum, Song School Spanish and Spanish for Children Primer A. These Spanish programs are suited to the energy, developmental level, and fun-loving nature of your early-elementary students!
Song School Spanish Book 1 weekly lessons peppered with songs/chants, enjoyable vocabulary, illustrations, handwriting practice, stories, games, and activities. A small amount of grammar is introduced mildly throughout the book, with the focus on relevant, everyday vocabulary to engage young students. Students who learn from Song School Spanish Book 1 will love learning Spanish and will be more than prepared to continue their studies with the Spanish for Children series.
Spanish for Children Primer A Program teaches upper-elementary students this dynamic language using immersion-style dialogues and vocabulary. The Spanish for Children series emphasizes grammar and the parts of speech as vital tools for the correct speaking and understanding of Spanish. The texts also use lively chants to aid the memorization of both grammar and vocabulary.
A special note from Spanish for Children author Julia Kraut:
Our goal with the Spanish for Children series is to teach students "why." We focus on the rules that govern the language and spend a large amount of time comparing Spanish and English grammar. In many ways, this series doesn't teach just Spanish—it teaches how to go about learning a language in general. This is different from the "scenario-focused" approach of many other textbooks, where students learn vocabulary that relates to specific subjects and then learn to discuss those subjects. While students using SFC do memorize vocabulary each week, using groups of related words to talk about various subjects and scenarios is "the icing on the cake"—the "cake" being an understanding of the patterns of the Spanish language, and knowing which word belongs where and why.
Here are 5 reasons it’s beneficial for children to learn Spanish:
1. Increase Brain Development: Learning a new language is easy and natural for kids, especially under the age of 6. It has also been shown to improve cognitive functions, increase attention, it helps with their native language and makes it easier to learn additional languages in the future.
2. Improve Social Skills: Children that learn another language – such as Spanish – develop new perspectives quickly and figure out early on which language to use with each person and in which situation. This forms a strong basis for fundamental social and emotional skills, which also makes it easier to connect with other kids their own age and to be more tolerant of others and their differences – diversity matters in today’s world.
3. Perform Better in School: Learning a new language such as Spanish actually helps kids do better in school with their native language. Studies have shown that children who know or are studying another language perform better on standardized tests than those who speak only one language and start reading at an earlier age. It may also help train a child’s ear for music, which some experts liken to a form of language.
4. Appreciate Culture: When children learn Spanish, they are not only learning a language, but are also learning about a vibrant Hispanic culture that spans South and Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. There is so much Spanish cultural and entertainment content available through streaming these days, from music to TV shows to movies to podcasts – the list is endless and growing! And of course, there is the world-renowned Spanish literature whether it’s children’s stories, novels, short stories or poetry, there is something for everyone!
5. Future Career Opportunities: We live in a global world that’s increasingly interconnected and speaking Spanish can significantly improve your children’s opportunities of finding a meaningful career and employment later in life. Candidates that speak another language like Spanish have an advantage over other applicants. It can also significantly expand your career options when doing business in Spanish-speaking countries, or even when simply volunteering.