The focus of the CRMS Spanish Language Department is twofold: to teach students to use the language they study and to broaden their understanding of cultures around them. For these reasons, all language students at CRMS study the Spanish language. Because students focus on only Spanish, they are better able to make use of the language and cultural resources available. For example, CRMS students collaborate with Spanish-speaking students in the Roaring Fork Valley, hear from guest speakers about subjects relevant to international and local Spanish-speaking cultures, experience language immersion home stays during Interim, and participate in service-learning using the Spanish language in their Senior Project. Through these and other language-based experiences, students are exposed not only to the grammatical structure of Spanish but to the literary and cultural aspects of the language as well. In class, students practice their Spanish skills in a variety of formats: listening, speaking, and writing. Classes are conducted almost entirely in Spanish and students are consistently asked to participate orally.
Students who have taken Spanish previously will be placed in the appropriate level after being assessed by the department. A minimum of two years’ study in the same language is required for graduation. Students transferring into CRMS during their senior year may be provided with alternate means for meeting this requirement by the Academic Dean.
In this course, making initial contact through the language is stressed. At the end of the first year, students should be able to speak about themselves and their surroundings and inquire about others. They should be able to communicate what they are doing, what they have done, and what they are planning to do (concept of tenses) and should therefore be able to manipulate simple narration. The four skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing—are developed here at the simplest level. Students should be able to listen to the language, comprehend, and be able to easily read signs and common everyday written material. They should also be able to write a postcard or a simple letter.
This course focuses on further development of initial skills. Opinions are expressed in the written and spoken language. The student feels greater ease of understanding in hearing the language. The student’s concept of tenses begins to show nuances. Writing techniques are further developed.
The general consolidation of a grammatical base and development of all four skills are stressed in this course. This level of Spanish study is designed to expand the student's ability to communicate. A variety of thematic units are presented in order to build language through the context of specific situations. An example is the unit on the environment, in which students learn necessary vocabulary and explore environmental issues in the Spanish-speaking world. They demonstrate their knowledge of predetermined linguistic concepts by presenting on a chosen environmental topic. This thematic- and performance-based approach provides students the opportunity to guide much of their own language development.
A combination of reading, writing, listening, and speaking allows students to practice the new concepts introduced. Students will utilize language purely to communicate in a variety of settings, from academic lectures and discussions to real-life situations. They will refine and review all verb tenses to use proficiently, including complex verb tenses. Throughout the year, Spanish is used exclusively to guide instruction for the full duration of each class period, and native languages are used only to clarify. Spanish 4 uses a variety of instructional guides, largely provided by the teacher. Spanish 4 also provides meaningful in-depth cultural studies for students. An AP-prep grammar text is often used as well.
Spanish 5 and 6
A rigorous course designed to take students to great new heights in their language study. They will further delve into Latin American and Spanish literature, honing language skills through reading and writing by performing literary analysis and historical investigations. The students will also become more fluent in verbal communication with regular listening-comprehension activities and ample opportunities for involvement in classroom discussions.