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1/19/2012 3:10:00 PM
Spanish is ¡Fantástico! at St. Pius X School
St. Pius X photo by David Kinder
Rhiannon Batey, Spanish teacher at St. Pius X School, listens to Jack Linehan speak.
St. Pius X photo by David Kinder
Rhiannon Batey, Spanish teacher at St. Pius X School, listens to Jack Linehan speak.

From nearly the first day students enter St. Pius X School they are engrossed in our Spanish language program. Rhiannon Batey teaches Spanish using positive reinforcement, oral components, cooperative learning, culture and hands on learning to all of the students within St. Pius X School.

Through Batey’s positive reinforcement activities students are motivated by their peers and her to stretch their Spanish skills beyond their current abilities. She uses common Spanish phrases to reward students and create classroom excitement. Often times the students are presented with a “¡Fantástico!, Magnífico, Sen-sa-cio-nal, EX-CEL-ENTE AND ¡SUPER estrella!”  during class time. These expressions symbolize hard work and are in demand by the students.

The strong oral component of the Spanish program is modeled by Batey to the students each class time. The students model it during social time, la bulla, which is given during class and offers the students time to practice what they are learning. The students work in small groups or partners while completing lesson objectives. Starting in third grade students are given a Spanish name and get to choose which Spanish country they represent. Students also learn about the country they represent and create and share a personalized celebratory country chant.

In middle school Spanish, the students use project based learning through dialogues, presentations and real-life role plays which include a fashion show, a restaurant role play and a version of a Spanish speaking town.

The students leave St. Pius X School with a greater understanding of the Spanish language and its many cultures. In many cases, this transfers to advanced placement in a Spanish class in high school and a lifelong love of the Spanish speaking cultures.

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