All grade students study French and Spanish at our school. In addition to the practical benefits, study of another language also helps develop the child as a human being. The children gain a sympathetic picture of the culture, geography and history of the countries and people whose language they are studying. They compare and make connections not only in these regards but also with linguistic features. Learning a second language also helps to develop and sharpen listening skills and grammar awareness in the first language. At Willow Tree, students begin Spanish and French in first grade. They experience class twice a week in all the grades. When many schools are cutting language classes, we firmly believe that it is essential to devote as much time to studying Spanish and French as we do to prepare students for life in our global society.
Students practice speaking skills before they begin to write the language, which mirrors natural first language acquisition. By the time they reach the upper school grades, they practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking in each lesson.