All four of our middle schools offer a World Language program as well as one of our elementary campuses, Sargeant Elementary. Students have the opportunity to learn Spanish before they go to high school. Our RCSD World Language program uses the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) method of foreign language teaching. This type of program is different from how many adults learned a foreign language when they were in school. “Our focus at RCSD is on comprehension and conversation. This type of class is dependent upon active participation and develops fluency in Spanish through understandable Spanish language,” says Marcela Kerns, a teacher at Eich Middle School. Conversations center around students’ likes, dislikes, hobbies, and life.
The goal is to have students understand what teachers are saying in Spanish and also to be able to speak in Spanish. To help achieve this goal, teachers speak Spanish 90% of the time. Language is taught through stories, novels, movie talks, activities, or anything else to give students more practice in the vocabulary. Students also spend time each week reading children stories in class and reading short, comprehensible novels in Spanish.
There are many benefits to our RCSD students learning a foreign language. According to researcher Francois Tochon, “Learning a second language not only has cognitive and academic benefits, it also supports a greater sense of openness to and appreciation for other cultures.” To learn more about the World Language program at any of our middle schools, please contact the site principal.