Foreign Languages Curriculum Guide
The Importance of Early Acquisition
Studies indicate that there are many cognitive benefits to learning a foreign language. In addition to impacting student’s linguistic abilities, second language learning has been shown to increase creative abilities as well. Furthermore, the younger children are when they begin to learn a foreign language, the greater the impact. If children begin learning a foreign language in early childhood, they will exhibit greater intellectual benefits over those children who do not learn a foreign language or begin learning later. Typically, American schools do not begin teaching foreign languages until middle school, when children have passed the critical period for language acquisition.
Preparing Students for a Global Economy
The foreign language curriculum at 2nd Nature Academy includes both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, beginning in pre-kindergarten. Mandarin claims the top spot as the world’s most commonly spoken language, followed by Spanish and then English. By teaching both Mandarin and Spanish we are preparing our children for a global economy. We are training our students to become cross-culturally competent adults who will be successful in handling the challenges that globalization can present. Finally, students who are culturally and linguistically prepared to effectively communicate both abroad and in a pluralistic American society have greater chances for success.
Success Through Quality
The National Standards for Foreign Language Education in the 21st Century encompass the five C’s of essential foreign language education:
The foreign language curriculum at 2nd Nature Academy embraces a wide range of communication skills recommended by the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages. These standards provide a vision of what students should know and be able to do with other languages. In order to attain these standards, we provide a foreign language program that provides rich curricular experiences in order to develop positive attitudes and excitement toward learning foreign languages.
Foreign Languages Curriculum in Action
Immersive Spanish Field Trip (Food Vocabulary)
- If you enjoyed 2nd Nature Academy upper elementary and middle school's Mandarin field trip, we invite you to join them here as they put their Spanish into practice! Check out some of the delicious memories we made on the day before school ended for the year, with Spanish language teachers Mrs. Gleeson and Mrs. Vasquez. Gracias to the wonderful folks at El Colima!
Immersive Mandarin Field Trip (Food Vocabulary)
- Join 2nd Nature Academy upper elementary and middle school classes on a field trip adventure with their Mandarin teacher, Lóng Lăo Shī, to China Star Dim Sum as they get a taste of Chinese culture, food, and practice their Mandarin language skills. Xiè xiè to the staff at China Star!
Practicing Mandarin Through Song (Interim-K)
- Even our young students love Mandarin class! It gets Interim-Kindergarten singing, they're so happy. Unlike the typical American school, we at 2nd Nature Academy begin teaching foreign languages during the period most critical for a child's language acquisition.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
- The 2nd Nature Academy Mandarin teacher, Lóng Lăo Shī, coordinates annual visits with Chinese Art Masters from Taiwan. For the Year of the Sheep, the Art Masters helped us celebrate the Chinese New Year! We had a blast learning the Chinese yo-yo, practicing calligraphy, crafting, and even enjoying a special school lunch.
Chinese Drum & Lion Dance
- We love our annual visits from the Chinese Art Masters who visit us all of the way from Taiwan, with the help of our fantastic Mandarin teacher, Lóng Lăo Shī. Here you may view a Chinese drum performance and lion dance in action.