All students study Spanish at our school, beginning in First grade. In addition to the practical benefits, study of another language also helps develop the child as a human being. The children gain a sympathetic picture of the culture, geography and history of the countries and people whose language they are studying. They compare and make connections not only in these regards but also with linguistic features. Learning a second language also helps to develop and sharpen listening skills and grammar awareness in the first language. At Sebastopol Charter, students begin Spanish in First grade , experience class twice a week in grades one and two, and have three lessons a week in grades three through eight. When many schools are cutting language classes, we firmly believe that it is essential to devote as much time to studying Spanish as we do to prepare students for life in our global society.
Students practice speaking skills before they begin to write the language, which mirrors natural first language acquisition. By the time they reach the middle school grades, they practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in each lesson. Motivated students often test into an advanced level of Spanish class in high school.