We immediately start with introducing world languages in the Lower School. The primary goal is to develop awareness, interest, and enthusiasm for the languages, the people, and the cultures. The program also seeks to develop students’ listening and speaking skills. A formal Spanish sequential curriculum is taught from Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn how to interact in Spanish with meaningful contexts. Topics and projects provide a framework for vocabulary and linguistic structures. The skills are based on the ACTFL standards for modern language learning. Communication refers to interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills. Through the target language, students also learn about culture, make connections across disciplines, and compare traditions and practices.
World Language continue in the Upper School with Spanish. The program stresses the use of the target language. Emphasis is placed on the four communicative skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The world language program also promotes the development of the three modes of communication: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational, through a setting that strengthens students’ appreciation for Spanish speaking cultures, provides a context for developing confidence to start communicating in the second language, and enhances cross-cultural awareness. Upon leaving Powhatan, students will have completed a minimum of level one in Spanish, with many testing well above grade level in high school.