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World Language: Spanish

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In our World Language and Cultural Studies program, Ancona students gain a facility with the Spanish language and a familiarity with the multiple cultures that express themselves through that language—all within a context of human rights and social justice. The program weaves together lessons related to the geography, history, politics, music, art, and daily life of the Spanish-speaking world. Each year within a four-year cycle, our program focuses on a different region of the world where Spanish is spoken: 1) Spain, 2) Mexico, Central America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, 3) South America, and 4) Latinx in the U.S. Our goal is to provide students with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to communicate effectively in a rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world.

The World Language teachers create a comfortable, warm and non-threatening learning environment that fosters spontaneous and meaningful communication in which every child feels comfortable taking risks. Although many classes are taught exclusively in the target language, both students and teachers effortlessly move from English to Spanish in much the same way that one might learn in a bilingual household. Spanish language content and skills, including functional language competencies (social language), grammar, pronunciation, listening, writing, vocabulary, reading, and personal expressions are fully integrated with cultural themes. In addition, the thematic curriculum is driven by sub-themes (i.e., hobbies, clothing) that often correspond to chapters in our textbooks and our human rights calendar.

The intense focus on these themes as seen through the lens of human rights and social justice distinguishes Ancona’s program apart from other world language programs. This approach is both progressive and potentially transformative; cultivating compassionate, culturally proficient and geographically knowledgeable global citizens who have the power to become agents of positive change in the world.

Learning another language is a way of exposing ourselves to another reality.

Listening to other voices allows us to develop our own critical thinking skills and strengthen our sense of empathy, justice and equity.

As we help our students look at other cultures from the perspectives of the diverse groups of people who live in them, we begin to expose them to human rights and social justice issues from the perspectives of people in Spanish-speaking communities, both here and abroad.
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