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Tuesday 08 Mar 2022
¡Vamos a estudiar español juntos!

Spanish Teacher

Bruno Aranda

My name is Bruno Aranda, and along with Mr. Bernardino Parra, we are the new Spanish team here in our school. We both felt a kind and warm welcoming from every single member of our school community and we are glad to introduce your children to this new foreign language which surely is going to be an interesting add to their curriculum. Every language is a unique way of seeing and thinking the world around us. The more languages we speak, the more opportunities to get to know and understand different cultures and realities. Our mission here is to encourage your children to take the risk of experiencing another of these realities and make the most profit out of it.

A second foreign language is another foreign language that students learn on top of their basic mastery of their first foreign language.  Our school has started to offer Spanish as a second foreign language for students in G7 and G8 since this academic year. We hope our students could acquire a key here to the wider world out there......

Why choosing Spanish as a second foreign language?

In terms of native speakers, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Its significance goes beyond frontiers. From its origin in Europe to North, Central and South American countries, Spanish language and culture is spread worldwide in many different and unique ways. Spanish is an official language in 21 countries, and it has over 572 million speakers around the globe. In fact, it is the second most spoken language in the US, right after English. Therefore, having the chance to start learning a second foreign language like Spanish at an early age would have a positive impact in your child's education.

As mentioned before, the influence of Spanish in English-speaking countries such as the UK and the US is becoming more noticeable in recent times. Spanish as a foreign language is the first choice of British and American high school students and many universities in those countries offer courses focusing on Hispanic studies. For that reason, if, for instance, our students would like to apply for universities in the US, showing a certain level of Spanish could make a difference comparing to other candidates and probably increase their chances to be admitted. Furthermore, from a long-term perspective, learning more than one foreign language could raise their chances to be more competitive in both European and American markets.

Why can learning Spanish improve your child’s English?

Some parents might be a little bit worried about how an extra foreign language may affect their child's learning process, especially when those kids are still struggling to learn English. However, in our experience and according to numerous scientific research, learning more than one language at the same time can be beneficial for children and young persons. On the one hand, it could stimulate their brain, improve their memory, and enhance their concentration. Having to switch from one language to another constantly keeps them alert and ultimately provoke them to be more proactive.

Moreover, the fact that there are many similarities between Spanish and English can make the learning process smoother. Around a 30% or 40% of English words have a relatively close equivalence in Spanish language with minor differences in sound or way of writing. For that reason, the words that they already know in English can help them learn Spanish. Also, as opposed to Chinese and English, which are extremely different languages, the sentence structure is rather similar in English and Spanish, so once they learn the basic grammar differences between the two languages, they will easily improve both. This could even help them to be more aware of how English language works as opposed to Spanish.

Teaching methodology and current progress of Spanish in our school ?

Spanish language has been introduced in our school from an early beginner level or level 0. Considering that for most of our students it is their first contact with the language, we are primarily trying to set some of the basics of the language and familiarize our students with its particularities. We are focusing on four core skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Our methodology is project-based, in which teamwork is essential and students can put their knowledge into practice. Since the purpose of learning a language is to communicate, we seek to expose our students to real life communicative situations which will be useful both in daily life and academic contexts. As mentioned before, every language is a new window from where to see the world and cultural perspectives are very important when learning a new language. That is why we try to incorporate cultural aspects in our teaching, such as Spanish manners and customs, eating habits, traditions, etc. Having the opportunity to experience these cultural aspects with Spanish native teachers is, with any doubt, advantageous for our students.

Future objectives and goals

Spanish has arrived recently to our school, and we did not know how students and parents would respond to this new addition to their curriculum. However, the feedback we have received so far from both students and parents is very positive. We would like to thank once again for the warm welcoming. Many of our students are really motivated and willing to take the adventure of learning “español” to a further level. Right now, we are offering Spanish in grades 7 and 8 in our Lower Secondary School and grades 6, 7 and 8 in our International School but, as you may already know, we aim to continue offering Spanish in upper grades. For now, we are focusing on the next step for grade 9 students. Our current curriculum is aiming to follow the official Spanish language curriculum from “El Instituto Cervantes”, an organization created by the Spanish government which is responsible for promoting the study of Spanish language and culture around the world. This curriculum is compatible with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) used by Cambridge English in the UK: you all must be already familiar with the level of language criteria A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. Just like Cambridge examinations in the UK, “El Instituto Cervantes” offers official examinations for Spanish learners called DELE on behalf of Spanish Ministry of Education. There are two headquarters of this organization in China, one in Beijing and another one in Shanghai. Our future goal is to prepare those students who are interested in improving their Spanish and get some certification to pass these examinations.

In the next few years, we would like to build a larger Spanish learners’ community in our school. Having your children's education and personal growth as our priorities, we will continue guiding them in their learning process and help them the best we can to achieve their goals. ¡Let's study Spanish together! ¡Vamos a estudiar español juntos!