MIR strives to incorporate language and culture into the learning process for the purpose of building a world community. The goals of MIR's Spanish program are
- To help children with communication, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, art, poetry, and music.
- To help children learn about the many, varied cultures of Spanish speaking peoples (cultural literacy).
A dedicated teacher leads our Elementary Spanish language program, working with children in formal activities and working with teachers to infuse Spanish into the environment. Weekly whole- or small-group lessons introduce Spanish language concepts, or repeat a concept in Spanish given by the Montessori teacher.
Music, art, gardening, and cooking are incorporated into the program, and students must access their Spanish to join in the fun. The teacher also interacts with the children informally in Spanish daily on the playground, at the lunch table, and in the Elementary childcare program after school.
Upper Elementary children venture out on a Spanish field trip to the Riverside Art Museum to see exhibits such as "Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper" (Feb. 2-May 7, 2017). During the field trip, they have lunch at local landmark Tio's Tacos and are required to order and handle the monetary transaction in Spanish for "real world" practice.
In Toddler and Primary classes that have adults who are native Spanish speakers, the adults will often give group Spanish lessons and/or speak in Spanish to the children for some of the day.
MIR has a highly international student body, and many of our students come to us already speaking more than one language. Languages spoken include Chinese, German, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and more. MIR therefore does not offer an immersion program with a focus on a specific language as it would be difficult to select the "right" one. While Spanish is the most practical choice in California, it may not be the most practical choice for all of our students. Our focus instead on cultural literacy is immediately applicable for all students.
Spanish teacher José leads Upper Elementary students in a Spanish lesson incorporating written and spoken language as well as music.