Modern Languages: Spanish & Arabic
Throughout the Elementary program, students are exposed to a ‘third’ language, Arabic and/or Spanish.
As part of the Middle School program, students are required to take a modern language as their official third language starting Grade 6 or 7. Students must make a carefully planned choice to study one of two languages: Spanish or Arabic. Students will study the same language through Grades Six, Seven, and Eight. Modern language courses prepare students for continued study of the language in high school, and lay a strong foundation for future advancement and learning of modern languages. In addition of Modern Languages, Latin may be offered depending on the school year.
Reading Arabic – “Hard for the Brain”. Recent findings in neuropsychology have labeled Arabic as one of the most difficult language to learn. While most of the modern languages use both sides of the brain, a specific involvement of the left hemisphere is seen to learn Arabic. The left side of the brain is better at distinguishing details. It is the ability to tell the letters apart that seems to work differently in Arabic- because telling the characters apart involves looking at very small details such as placement of the dots. Based on our past experience, children starting learning Arabic at an early age allows our students to develop an important Arabic phonetic awareness (before the learning of the sounds becomes difficult) along with reading and writing skills. Starting first grade, students are offered the option to take Arabic. Arabic 101 and 102 are offered throughout cycle 2 program (Grade 1 and 2).
Spanish classes may be offered depending on the families demand and the teacher’s availability. Spanish classes at Grade 1 and 2 levels focus on conversational skills along with phonetic awareness, reading and vocabulary. Weekly themes are taught in classes up to twice a week.