New Spanish course in the MYP
This year, the Spanish department at the ISUtrecht is glad to present our new subject, working towards offering Spanish Language and Literature! This subject is being developed for students who are advanced Spanish speakers.
By Andrea Romero, Ima Pichardo and Karin Oyarzo, Spanish department
Even though the school is still relatively small, the time has come to start developing our language learning continuum across the languages and in addition to the extra English offered, we are also looking at ways to further develop the Spanish learning continuum to eventually offer Spanish Language and Literature.
The current course comprises students for whom Spanish is (one of) the home language(s) as well as students who have developed a high phase of language acquisition. The continuum of language learning is organised into 6 phases and culminates in language and literature. Students are challenged to develop across the language learning continuum and aim towards the highest level they can achieve.
At the moment, we have started with two very enthusiastic groups in the MYP, from grades 6 to 10, under the instruction of our new teacher, Ms Ima Pichardo. Ms Pichardo recognises the importance of supporting our students with the development of their Spanish literary skills: ‘In this course, students have the opportunity to develop, organise and express themselves, as well as to communicate thoughts, ideas, and information, using varied and appropriate language in diverse practical contexts’.
Additionally, students in this course will have the chance to transfer knowledge from other literature classes and they can complement it with their new acquired knowledge in reading Hispanic literature and texts.
The students have expressed that they are very enthusiastic about their new subject, as Antonio from grade 9 says: ‘I have fun, I think it is a fun class. For me, it is important to keep learning Spanish because my whole family speaks Spanish, and when I visit my grandparents, I want to be able to communicate with them’. Paula, also from grade 9 says: ‘It is important because I am Spanish, and I want to keep being in touch with my culture’.
Our Spanish-speaking community
On 20 September the Spanish department, alongside our Deputy Head of School, Ms Edith van der Linden, presented the planning for the new course to the parents of our Spanish-speaking community. It was a very informative afternoon, where parents learnt more about the curriculum designed for this course, the teacher’s expectations. They could also suggest ideas and share feedback, to help to support our students.
Our parents are as excited as we are about this new subject, and they feel that it will help our students to keep developing new skills using their home or best language and to discover the beauty in the words of Don Quijote or Gabriel García Márquez. Quoting one of our parents that attended the meeting: ‘I loved the enthusiasm expressed by the teachers, looking forward to a great Spanish year for my son’.
The course prospects
Throughout this new course planning, students will explore how the Spanish Language is used depending on text type, objective, audience and context, as well as basic narrative and literary techniques. Central to this course is learning the origins of our language and early literary expressions. This allows students to develop literacy skills and the enhancement of global mindedness through an increased awareness of their own cultural background.
The whole Spanish Department is working hard in the curriculum development to have all the course complete and adapted to our students’ needs and interests, always encouraging their curiosity and self-expression.