The Lower School Spanish program aims to expand students’ communicative abilities by teaching them to understand and speak another language while simultaneously giving students greater appreciation for and understanding of global cultures. In addition to language skills, students are taught about traditions and beliefs held in Hispanic and Latino communities in the United States and around the world. 
 
Classes provide students with the tools they will need to become life-long communicators in Spanish. By studying a new language and understanding new cultures, students are able to share and engage in an expanded community of ideas and perspectives. Our language program teaches Spanish through the use of learning materials that are relevant and meaningful to students, in order to make instruction more engaging and comprehensible.

List of 7 items.

  • Early Childhood Development

    The children’s first encounter with Spanish is both thrilling and engaging at the same time. Through games, songs and stories the children start being exposed to the language and slowly start developing their language skills. Simple phrases are acquired through repetition and new sounds are incorporated. In only a few weeks, the children are able to engage in short conversations where pleasantries are exchanged and likes and dislikes are expressed. Basic vocabulary is introduced using visual aids, and new words are reinforced with games and songs until they become second nature. 
     
    In ECD, students learn to associate Spanish words with visuals and manipulatives which are used in class activities. Concepts are also reinforced through developmentally-appropriate songs as well as body movements Some our favorite songs include: “¡Hola!” (“Hello”), “La Araña Pequeñita” (“The Itsy Bitsy Spider”), “Buenos Días” (“Good Morning”), “La Granja” (“The Farm”) and “Diez Deditos” (“Ten Little Fingers”), “La canción del clima” (“The Weather Song”), “Los Colores” (“The colors”).  
     
    Content presented in Spanish class also helps to reinforce what is learned in other subjects.  Students in Spanish class are learning how to say their names, count numbers 1-10, name food and drinks and particular animals, parts of the body and how to follow directions. In Spanish class, the children are learning to listen and speak to others in a kind and respectful way. 
  • Kindergarten

    In Kindergarten, students build upon what was acquired the previous year. Basic greetings, words, and numbers are reviewed and continue to develop. More phrases are introduced and simple dialogues are encouraged. Songs, games and hands-on activities help to increase the familiarity of new words and sounds. With continuous practice of the Spanish language, students develop a stronger command of the language, allowing them to express themselves with confidence but to grasp new structures and words with more facility. 
     
    Students learn to associate Spanish words with visuals and manipulatives that are used in class activities. We practice singing our favorite songs from ECD like “Hola! Song” and “Colors Song,” along with new songs including: “El alfabeto en español” (“The Spanish Alphabet”), “El cuerpo hace música” (The Body Makes Music”), “Canción de los números” (Number Song), “Clima Song” (Weather song)  and “El Chiquichiquigua.” Students practice using vocabulary they learned in ECD as well as exploring new thematic units, such as the alphabet, insects, clothing, family, and transportation. Kindergarteners also read the popular story by Eric Carle “La Oruga Hambriente” (The Very Hungry Caterpillar).   
     
    A regular Kindergarten song is Simon Dice (Simon Says). This active game gets students out of their seats and “learning by doing” while they reinforcing their knowledge of Spanish body parts and introducing many verbs such as levántate (stand up), siéntate (sit down), camina (walk), corre (run), brinca (jump), repita (repeat), baila (dance), mira (look at), and toca (touch). We also play “Papa Pitufo” (Papa Smurf)  - which allows them to practice the numbers - and “The Color Game” which reinforces the concept of colors.
  • First Grade

    In the first grade Spanish program we seek to expand students’ communicative abilities by teaching them to speak and comprehend a foreign language. Building on what was previously taught, the class work reinforces and strengthens the children’s vocabulary base. For the first time, students use a Spanish book that introduces them to basic grammatical concepts like verbs and assists them in developing their reading skills. Using pictorial symbols, they begin putting sentences together, and they are soon able to express basic ideas using the third person singular. These concepts are reinforced through miscellaneous games, songs and hands-on activities. 
     
    The year begins with a review of ECD/Kindergarten material in order to reinforce and strengthen the children’s vocabulary base. Students are then introduced to the characters Rosa, Antonio, Pablo, and Livia, and their animal friends, el gato (the cat), el perro (the dog), and el mono (the monkey) through symbol cards used in the language program Symtalk (EMC Publishing). Using these cards and their growing vocabulary, first graders are expected to begin communicating in class using complete sentences in Spanish. 
     
    As their familiarity with the sounds of Spanish and their pronunciation improves, the children are able to demonstrate their learning by telling stories in class about Pablo and his amigos. They also act, sing, draw, play language games, and write sentences about the Symtalk characters.  A favorite class activity is interpreting pictograph stories written in Spanish about the first grade students themselves. Among the many vocabulary and speaking games played in Spanish class are Papa Pitufo (Papa Smurf), El juego de los colores (The color game), La Memoria (memory), ¡Tócalo! (Touch it!), Simon Dice(Simon Says), and Alrededor del Mundo (Around the World).  
     
    One of the most popular songs the children learn is “El burrito enfermo” (The sick donkey), which introduces body part vocabulary, such as la cabeza (head), la garganta (throat), las costillas (ribs), and corazón (heart). The song also incorporates food and clothing vocabulary such as la bufanda (scarf), la gorrita (cap), la chaqueta (jacket), and el limón (lemon). In every class, students practice the days of the week and the weather through a warm-up activity which reinforces these concepts.
  • Second Grade

    In the second grade, students learn to write in Spanish. With three years of Spanish experience, they begin learning to recognize and recreate it in its written form. A review of previously taught material reinforces and strengthens their vocabulary and grammatical base. Students express themselves and communicate in complete sentences while becoming more familiar with the sounds of Spanish and improving their pronunciation. Their skills are enhanced through singing, drawing, playing language games, and writing sentences.
     
    In the second grade, students learn Spanish through the use of storytelling and the Symtalk characters Rosa, Antonio, Pablo and Livia and their animal friends. Students expand their understanding and ability to communicate in Spanish through thematic units about animals, objects in the home, going to school, playing, eating, shopping and clothing.
     
    Students continue to become more familiar with the sounds of Spanish and their pronunciation improves as well. A favorite class activity is the interpretation of pictograph stories in Spanish written about the second grade students. Students are highly motivated to learn and practice Spanish through storytelling, especially when they see themselves in the story.  
     
    Second graders also play many active games throughout the year that serve to reinforce vocabulary and give students both interpretive and communicative practice such as La Memoria (memory), ¡Tócalo! (Touch it!), Simon Dice (Simon Says), De que color son? (What Color are they) and Alrededor del Mundo (Around the World).  Playing games also helps second graders to develop their patience as they wait for their turn, as well as improving their listening skills when directions are given.
  • Third Grade

    The third grade program aims for further progression of Spanish by introducing students to more sophisticated grammar structures as well as continuing to expand their vocabulary base. Students begin to express themselves in the first and second person for the first time. In the third grade, students continue to build on the listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills they have developed in previous years. Students use Spanish to communicate with their teacher and with each other, often about their own lives or about stories they invent in class.  
     
    At this point, students start to become aware of elements of Spanish grammar structure. Class conversations about grammar structure begin to occur, with students noticing differences between grammar structures in English and Spanish and verbalizing those distinctions.Third graders express themselves and communicate in complete sentences in Spanish. Students expand their understanding and ability to communicate in Spanish through thematic units based on school, friends and family, sports, clothing, places, leisure activities, food, and the calendar.   
     
    Students continue to learn Spanish through the use of storytelling and the Symtalk characters, however the characters now appear older, and new characters Alan, Isabel, Señora Lopez, Señor Lopez, Señor Pérez, Señora Pérez are introduced. Students continue to become more familiar with the sounds of Spanish and their pronunciation continues to improve as well. Students demonstrate their learning by telling stories in class about Pablo and his amigos. They also act, sing, draw, play languages games, and write sentences and stories about the Symtalk characters.  
     
    Third grade students continue to communicate in the third person singular and they also learn to conjugate verbs in the first and second person. Additional verbs taught in the third grade include: costar (to cost), escribir (to write), escuchar (to listen), hablar (to speak), leer (to read), llevar (to wear/bring), nadar (to swim), and ser (to be).  They also learn the word “hay” (“there is” and “there are”).    
     
    Third graders also play many active games throughout the year that serve to reinforce vocabulary and give students both interpretive and communicative practice such as ¡Explicalo! (Explain it!), ¡Tócalo! (Touch it!), Pictionary, Charades, Simon Dice (Simon Says) and Alrededor del Mundo (Around the World).  Playing games also helps third graders to practice good listening skills when directions are given, as well as good sportsmanship during competitive games.
  • Fourth Grade

    In the fourth grade, students build on the listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills they have developed in previous years. Students notice elements of Spanish grammar structure more frequently, and conversations conversations about grammar structure are commonplace. Students are able to compare and contrast between grammar structures in English and Spanish and are able to verbalize those distinctions and similarities. 
     
    Students use Spanish to communicate with their teacher and with each other, often about their own lives or about stories they invent in class. They continue to learn Spanish through the use of storytelling and the Symtalk characters. Fourth graders continue to express themselves and communicate in complete sentences in Spanish. Students expand their understanding and ability to communicate in Spanish through thematic units such as eating at a restaurant, transportation, leisure activities, time, family, professions, states of being (hot, tired, sick), weather, and school.
     
    Fourth graders continue to play many active games throughout the year which serve to reinforce vocabulary and give students both interpretive and communicative practice such as ¡Explicalo! (Explain it!), ¡Tócalo! (Touch it!), De que color son? (What color are they?), Pictionary, Charades, Simon Dice (Simon Says) and Alrededor del Mundo (Around the World).  Playing games also helps fourth graders to practice good listening skills when directions are given, as well as good sportsmanship during competitive games. 
     
    Their ability to express themselves and communicate in complete sentences in Spanish increases. Students continue to communicate in the first, second and third person singular and they also learn to conjugate verbs in the third person plural. Additional verbs such as necesitar (to need), decir (to say), llegar (to arrive), salir (to leave), sentarse (to sit), levantarse (to stand up) are introduced. Vocabulary and grammar are expanded and reinforced through games, songs and hands-on activities. Their final class project is to create an animated story in Spanish using the vocabulary and grammar they have learned throughout the year.
  • Fifth Grade

    In fifth grade, an emphasis is placed on expressing themselves and communicating in complete sentences in Spanish. Fifth grade students continue to build on the listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills they have developed in previous years. Students use Spanish to communicate with their teacher and with each other in class. As new material is introduced, the students notice elements of Spanish grammar structure more frequently and begin to seek out patterns. Class conversations about grammar structures occur regularly.  
     
    Different thematic units—greetings, shopping, leisure activities, eating and drinking, transportation, time—provide the basis for the skills being learned. Throughout the year students continue to communicate in the first, second and third person singular, as well as the third person plural. In fifth grade, they also learn to conjugate verbs in the first person plural, and second person plural. Additional verbs taught in fifth grade include ser (to be). 
     
    Fifth graders play many active games throughout the year to reinforce vocabulary and give students both interpretive and communicative practice such as Charades, Color Game, Studystack, Verb Conjugation Ball Toss, Bingo, and Alrededor del Mundo (Around the World).  
     
    Students continue to become more familiar with the sounds of Spanish and their pronunciation improves as well. Through activities like acting, singing, drawing, games and storytelling, fifth graders reinforce vocabulary and their interpretive and communicative skills.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Early Childhood Development (ECD) to 12th Grade.