The East Woods' mission is to foster strength of character and academic excellence while developing and encouraging creativity, intellectual curiosity, and a lifelong passion for learning. We are a nurturing community that celebrates the differences among us and leads by example through citizenship and service to others.

Foreign Language

East Woods provides a well-rounded education for every student. An integral piece of this educational philosophy is the introduction of our students to foreign languages at an early age. This strong foundation is built upon each year, with consistent and steady increases in the foreign language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. In addition, students are taught about the culture, history and traditions of the regions in which these languages are spoken natively.

From Nursery through Second Grade, the focus is on Spanish language and culture. Our students are then introduced to French in the Third Grade, when they spend half of the year in a continued study of Spanish, and half of the year studying French. This same method follows them into the Fourth Grade. In the Fifth Grade, the students are asked to focus on either Spanish or French for the duration of their time at East Woods. Many students will also add Latin to their foreign language of choice in the Seventh and Eighth Grades.


Early Childhood Center

Overview
The Nursery students attend Spanish once a week. The children are introduced to the Spanish language in a supportive, engaging environment. Music, movement, stories and play activities are incorporated to foster the student’s enthusiasm for learning Spanish.

The Pre-Kindergarten students attend Spanish once a week for half an hour. The Pre-Kindergarten Spanish program incorporates music, movement, stories, games and interactive activities to promote the children’s achievement in learning a foreign language. In a supportive and engaging environment, the students feel empowered to learn and speak Spanish.

Lower School

Overview
In the Lower School, the students in Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade receive Spanish twice a week for 40 minutes. The students learn Spanish through music, visual aids, technology, lesson activities, and games. The learning objectives are to build their world language development, to increase their vocabulary, and to strengthen their confidence speaking a language in a positive environment.

The Third and Fourth Grades are taught by Upper School language teachers. The students take half a year of French and half a year of Spanish; they are taught twice a week. The goal is to expose students to the two modern world languages studied at East Woods School. This is the first time the students are introduced to French. At these levels, it is conducted with a predominantly audio/visual/lingual approach and a basic introduction to the written language. This aspect of our World Language Program affords our students the special opportunity to have early first-hand experience with not just one, but two world languages. This approach also helps students to decide which language they will continue to study based on their own experiences with the language.

Kindergarten

Foreign Language study in Kindergarten offers the students an introductory program in Spanish, and classes meet two days per week. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated into the program, and the students participate in interactive learning through games, songs, and collaborative activities.

First Grade

Foreign Language study in the First Grade builds upon the basic Spanish language foundation the students have developed in previous years. Classes meet two days per week, and the students develop their vocabulary, increase their comprehension skills, and gain confidence in their ability to speak Spanish through interactive games, songs, and collaborative activities.

Second Grade

Foreign Language study in the Second Grade continues to foster the development of verbal skills, comprehension skills, and written proficiency in Spanish. The class meets two days per week, and it also provides the students with an introduction to Spanish cultural celebrations and traditions. During class the students engage in conversation, read short passages, write basic sentences, and actively participate in games and activities to continue their development of strong Spanish language skills.

Third Grade

Foreign Language study in the Third Grade offers the students an introductory program in Spanish and French. Each language course covers one-half year, and classes meet two days per week. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated into the program, and the students are introduced to the culture and traditions of the French and Spanish speaking world. Language learning is enhanced by the use of technology.

Fourth Grade

Foreign Language study in the Fourth Grade offers the students an introductory program in Spanish and French. Each language course covers one-half year, and classes meet two days per week. The program builds upon the skills and concepts taught in Third Grade, with a greater emphasis on sentence structure and conversation. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are foundational aspects of the program, and the students are also given an introduction to the history, development, and structure of the language in general. Foreign Language learning is enhanced by the use of technology.

Upper School

Overview
Fifth Grade is the students’ first full year of studying the language they have chosen. The goal is to give them a grammatical foundation and rudimentary conversational skills from which to draw, when they advance in the language.


Sixth through Eighth Grade French and Spanish follow a conversational approach which teaches the students to listen, understand, and speak the language being studied. They are also taught basic reading and writing skills, which will allow them to further study their chosen language after they graduate.

Fifth Grade

Students in Fifth Grade choose to take either Spanish or French, and classes meet daily. Both the French and Spanish programs are designed to provide the students a strong foundation in the language, and emphasis is divided evenly between reading, writing, listening, and speaking. During the year, students will:

  • Learn conversation skills and the basic rules that govern the grammatical structure of the language
  • Demonstrate strong pronunciation and listening skills
  • Develop cultural awareness
  • Use technology to enhance learning through programs such as Linguascope, Fun Spanish, Kahoot, and Duolingo

Sixth - Eighth Grade

Students in Grades Six through Eighth Grade take either Spanish or French, five days per week. Beginning in Seventh Grade and continuing into Eighth Grade, most students also take Latin five days per week. By studying other languages, students nourish their ability to think and communicate, gain an understanding of other cultures, and begin to see themselves as global citizens. Throughout the language curriculum, students learn through modeling, repetition, audio-visuals, guided practice, projects, dialogues, role-playing, listening activities, games, and iPad apps and simple programs such as Linguascope and Duolingo. Classes are interactive, and teachers assess students’ progress and needs through classroom observation, quizzes, tests, and projects of all kinds. Between Sixth and Eighth Grade, the study of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax gradually intensifies, but the main focus of the program remains on helping students to communicate with fluency and to see themselves as part of a larger world.