¡Bienvenidos! Languages take you places
2016 was a year of firsts in Spanish. This was the first year that we had a Year 11 class, and they tackled the challenge of NCEA Level 1 Spanish with alacrity. Their results were consistently excellent all year. This year also marked the first year that Mrs ("Profesora") Derecourt taught Spanish at St.John's. She really enjoyed the challenge and looks forward to developing this interesting subject for many years to come.
Eighten Year 10's built upon the great start they made in Year 9 and several have chosen to take Spanish through to next Year 11. Our numbers were swelled at the start of 2016 by a whopping 98 Year 9's who chose to take Spanish - a quarter of these have elected to follow Spanish through to Year 10 to continue their mastery of this foreign language. Some native-speaker Year 9's have even been offered the opportunity of going straight into Year 11, so that they can immediately start to earn NCEA credits in this subject.
2017 will see another first - that of our first Year 12 class, taking NCEA Level 2 Spanish. Spanish has only been offered as a subject at St. John's for since 2014, and our goal is to offer a progressive course from Year 9 right through to Year 13. Spanish is a university-approved subject, and an extensive knowledge of Spanish gained at SJC can lead to further study at University level, let alone travel opportunities.
Talking of travel, one further development in the pipeline is that of the planned trip to Spain in 2018. The itinerary is soon to be finalized, costs determined and students to be notified. At this stage, we are looking to explore a few cities in Spain over a two-week period in September 2018, living with Spanish families and getting a better understanding of the history, culture, and language of this amazing country. Keep your eyes peeled for news of this exciting development!
Mrs Sussanah Derecourt
What do we cover in Spanish?
In Year 9 we focus on the basics of language with topics including (but not limited to) greetings, family members, languages and countries, numbers, dates and school vocabulary.
Very quickly students are able to hold simple conversations and learn correct pronunciation.
Students are assessed across the disciplines of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
In Year 10 we learn to discuss food, describe our houses and towns and explain what we like to do in our free time.
Assessment is across the same disciplines as in Year 9. Year 10 students will be well prepared to embark on Level One NCEA study in Spanish.
A study of the Spanish language would be incomplete without a background basis in history, geography and culture.
Our learning delves into some of the many countries in which Spanish is spoken. We are very fortunate at St John’s to have students attending who are native speakers, adding a richness to our students' experience of learning Spanish.
Year 11 Spanish focuses very much on the language skills needed to survive and thrive in a Spanish-speaking culture.
Students will learn to communicate their own personal responses and have the opportunity to accumulate vocabulary on topics of most interest to them.
Topics covered are of most immediate relevance to them, such as their daily routines, family, past events and future plans, how they spend their free time and eating out and making purchases.
The credits on offer are well-balanced between internal and external standards and across the four main language disciplines of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
Why learn Spanish?
Learning a second language provides many benefits and opportunities including:
- Being more receptive to and understanding of the customs and traditions of other cultures
- Being a better host to those who visit New Zealand or make it their home
- The ability to enjoy entertainment such as music, movies and magazines in another language
- Giving yourself an edge in the business world by combining a profession and a language
- Travel through study abroad programmes and exchanges such as Rotary and AFS