At The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori (GSCM), we offer an in-depth foreign language program, with carefully-planned instruction and ample time for children to truly begin to understand and speak Spanish. Beginning at age three, every GSCM student has two Spanish classes per week.  Beginning in grade 4, every GSCM student has three Spanish classes per week. Classes are taught in small groups according to age or grade level.  Our junior high Spanish program is designed to enable students to enter 2nd-year Spanish in high school, and many GSCM students have tested out of high school Spanish I in their freshman year.

Read more about our Spanish program for preschool through third grade.

Read more about our Spanish program for grades four through eight.

Read more about our Spanish program for pre-8th

Accelerated Learning and Student Leadership

One of the strengths students gain from a Montessori education is student leadership.  Learning at a faster pace is encouraged.  Julia, one of my 8th grade students, provides an excellent example of independent learning and strong leadership.  Julia has been working independently ahead of the class in Spanish for three years.  She has given up her lunchtime once a week to meet with me for Spanish instruction and has worked independently during Spanish class time on material a year ahead of her class.  She even missed the bus to the skating rink because she was so involved planning a lesson to teach the 8th graders the next day!  Julia taught a Spanish lesson to the 8th graders and her peers gave her respect and were excited to learn from a peer.

I am happy to be teaching in an environment where students learn at a young age to help and teach other students in their class.  This skill learned early in life has many practical applications in more advanced education and many fields of the workforce.  If your child wants to work ahead of the class on Spanish please encourage them to speak to me.

Note: Upon previewing this article, Julia’s parents noted: We think it is important to also note Sra. Lewis’s efforts to go the extra mile and dedicate her time to helping Julia move ahead independently in this subject.  It has been a very successful partnership.

Below: A group of upper elementary students enjoy the model city which they created and then labeled in Spanish class.

An anecdote from one of our lower elementary teachers:

The church, which is adjacent to our playground, was having a new roof installed by a crew that consisted of Hispanic workers. As the teacher led the children back to school at the end of recess, the workers called down to her, “Who is teaching your kids Spanish? They speak very well!” During recess, a number of the children had been exchanging Spanish words and phrases with the workers up on the roof!