Our program, in keeping with our school’s stated mission, is a hybrid of features of the German and American school systems, preparing students for the Spanish examinations of the Abitur as well as the Advanced Placement Spanish exams of the American College Board. Most importantly, our program strives to prepare students to use the Spanish language throughout their lives: to travel, to work, to read and write, even to sing and to argue, and of course to make the personal relationships that break down cultural barriers. In short, we want Spanish to keep enriching our students for a lifetime.
Toward this lofty goal, we offer a full program focusing on linguistic and cultural knowledge studied through German and American textbooks, but also through literature, journalism, film, art, and contemporary web resources. In the classroom, we favor a communicative method which is task-oriented and output-based; students are responsible for creating projects, writing dialogues, and analyzing cultural topics consistent with their level of study.
Students in Spanish 7 and 8 begin with the basic structures of Spanish grammar and the essential vocabulary topics for communication about everyday situations. Simple reading texts and writing topics, cultural research, and a good deal of theater and art are included from the beginning. As in all levels, there is ample focus on each of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Students in Spanish 9 and 10 move beyond the foundations to deepen and expand their control of the language, learning grammar and vocabulary to communicate about their opinions and judgments, about real and theoretical statements, about comparisons and contrasts. Contemporary literature and news articles provide ample opportunities for students’ written analysis and oral discussion which further hone their analytical skills.
Students in Spanish 11 and 12, having completed the intermediate level of study, focus on advancing their linguistic and cultural knowledge to study topics of importance to their future goals. Students preparing for AP exams, Abitur exams, and/or continuing study due to intense interest in the language, all study and respond to the four given Abitur topics; additionally, they all refine their timed reading, writing, listening, and speaking using the Advanced Placement tasks geared toward this level. Along the way, all students in the 11th and 12th grade program engage with literature, debate, interview, and artistic projects that integrate the Spanish language in meaningful ways.
Spanish Open House:
Every year, our department opens its doors to display student work and student talent. This event, a student-led program consisting of music, theater, written projects, and/or video pieces allows students to apply their classroom learning in a creative way. It celebrates the impressive accomplishments of our students in the realm of Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures.
In the 10th-grade year, our students have the opportunity to live and study in Madrid, where they stand to gain innumerable benefits from immersion in the language and culture of the Spanish capital and also to establish lasting friendships with their Spanish peers. Students will attend classes in the partner school and will work together with their hosts to prepare formal presentations stemming from the immersion experience; these presentations are to be offered by the JFKS students in their target language of Spanish.
All students from grades 7-12, whether formally studying Spanish or not, may join the Spanish Club. The club meets weekly and focuses on linguistic and cultural topics and fun activities to enhance the students’ involvement with Spanish.
We welcome your comments or questions.
Please contact our department coordinator: