Program Philosophy & Structure

Grades K-5 Philosophy

The Spanish language program at Avoca West is a FLES type program. FLES means Foreign Language in the Elementary School. This is a term that can describe any program implemented in an elementary school which devotes anywhere from 5% to 50% of the school day to world language instruction. First-Fifth grade students receive about 36-38 hours of Spanish instruction per school year. Kindergarteners receive 12-13 hours of Spanish instruction per school year. The goal of the program is to build vocabulary, gain some basic conversational skills (greetings, introductions, expressing feelings/likes and dislikes, describing familiar people, places and objects) and learn cultural aspects of Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries.

Grades K-5 Program Structure

Students grades 1-5 receive Spanish language instruction, twice a week for 30 minutes per class. Kindergarten students also receive Spanish language instruction, twice a week for 30 minutes per class during a 12-13 week interval of the school year. Classes have a very structured routine (explained below) to help build vocabulary and basic conversational skills. 

Part 1: Sing a greeting song 

Part 2: Warm-Up Questions

  • How are you feeling? (K-5)
  • Other questions about you (2-5)
  • Questions about the Calendar (day, date, special events/birthdays, number of days of school
  • "This or That?" activity to build cognate vocabulary (1-2)
  • Joke of the Week (3)
  • What's in the Bag? (4-5)

Part 3: Lesson/Practice 

Introduce new language skills or review and practice skills learned the previous class. Activities can include playing games, singing songs, reading stories and working with a partner or small group. Content areas are incorporated into lessons when appropriate. There are frequent cultural discussions tied into holidays, common practices and famous people. 

Part 4: Wrap-up and Closing 

  • Quick video or game for review
  • Self-Assessment
  • Sing a farewell song (K-5) 

The experience of learning Spanish at the elementary level will help prepare students for world language instruction at the middle school level, when they will receive 40 minutes of daily instruction in either Spanish or French.