Learning a second language at an early age not only increases a student’s ability to achieve oral and written fluency, but also a variety of other academic aspects including critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility. Our youngest students are most able to comprehend the rules of a language intuitively and correctly imitate the sounds and pronunciation. This is especially true before eight years old, after which the brain has more difficulty processing the exact accent of new languages naturally. We are very pleased to help our students learn instinctively through songs and fun experiences.
Our school promotes multilingualism as an approach to international-mindedness and cultural awareness of our students.
Children in Early Years begin by studying all classes in Spanish and then are gradually exposed to English until they are in a dual immersion program that continues through all of Primary School where our students take some courses in Spanish and others in English. The emphasis is on learning to express themselves orally and in writing in both languages as well as using these languages to interact with the world, learn and engage in inquiry.
We teach early literacy using the Jolly Phonics Program through which students develop a phonetic understanding of the language and learn the written world through a synthetic phonics approach. This program, developed in the United Kingdom, enables students to learn English sounds using multi-sensory methods.
The English course in Secondary School combines the teaching of the language (grammar, writing, and oral communication) with literature analysis consolidating the bilingualism achieved in Primary. This course prepares students for the demands of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and to study university in an English-speaking country. All other subjects are taught in Spanish; however, there is also the possibility of taking IB Diploma Program courses in English externally through Pamoja Education.
In addition to intensive English classes in Secondary, Quechua instruction is added. The goals for this course include students learning to communicate socially in this language as well as important elements of Andean culture through its language.
Our School promotes multilingualism as a way to develop our students’ international mindedness and cultural awareness.
This course combines vocabulary and grammar development with cultural aspects necessary to speak this language appropriately. Some of these contents include: the importance of the Quechua language, friendly individual and group greetings, formal and informal introductions, members of the family including relationship, name, origin and professions, use of diminutive form in Quechua, the Pachamama (Mother Earth), nature, the Quechua alphabet, intonation and pronunciation.
We strive for our students to develop a basic understanding of Quechua so that they can communicate socially in the language. Through this course, we also hope our students to learn about important aspects of Andean culture and feel connected to it.
Although the number our hours dedicated to the teaching of this language are less than the others, research has found that bilingual individuals can learn a third language more easily. Our students typically pick up Quechua quickly.
Upon graduation, students should be able to communicate at a basic level in Quechua and have developed an understanding of important aspects of Andean Culture though learning this language, its grammar as well as important literary works.