Language learning is an exciting path that opens doors to new worlds and with countless present and future benefits in students' development.
A second foreign language is another foreign language that students learn on top of their basic mastery of their first foreign language. In KCIS, we offer Spanish as a second foreign language for students from G6 to G8. 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.
In our purpose of offering the best possible education in learning Spanish at KCIS, we follow the Common European Framework of References for Languages for learning and evaluation of Spanish. Our objective for grade 6, grade 7 and grade 8 levels is to reach a proficiency level of Spanish of grade A2, that is, students will be able to communicate at a basic level.
-Carry out communication for immediate needs. Obtain and give personal information, express satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or service, ask for directions, or offer directions to get to a place, take steps to acquire a good or service.
-Carry out social interactions. Participate in social encounters (family, place of residence) or exchange of information on daily issues and routine actions.
-Read, understand, select and extract relevant information. Students will be able to deal with short texts that contain instructions or information and even texts issued by the media (press, television, etc.)
-Become aware of the cultural diversity of Spanish-speaking countries. Students will be able to handle a repertoire of linguistic resources, such as basic syntactic structures and general knowledge about social conventions and cultural references of the Hispanic world.
Future objectives and goals
With the aim of guaranteeing the highest quality and excellence in the teaching of Spanish, the KCIS Spanish department follows the Curricular Plan of the Instituto Cervantes. As you may already know, "El Instituto Cervantes" is 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. Our future goal is to prepare those students who are interested in improving their Spanish and get some certification to pass these examinations.
The teachers of the KCIS Spanish department are accredited as official examiners of the DELE exams granted by the Instituto Cervantes. The DELE exam is an official certifying degree of competence of the Spanish language, recognized by Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. In addition, teachers have a long experience as official examiners of the DELE Diploma that take place at the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute of Beijing and Shanghai.
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. With all this, in the Spanish department of KCIS we are waiting for you to begin this great adventure. ¡Bienvenido!