For today’s children, proficiency in a foreign language is an increasingly essential life skill. One in seven U.S. residents is foreign-born, and in Texas, 30% of the population speaks Spanish. Those statistics may help explain why, according to college counselors, America’s most selective universities want applicants to have taken four years of the same foreign language in high school.
At ROBS, our curriculum lays an exceptional foundation for advanced high school Spanish. Whether your child begins Spanish in sixth grade or later, ROBS offers a progression of year-long courses: Spanish Pre-1A, Spanish 1A, Spanish 1B, and Spanish 2. Most ROBS students complete Spanish 1A and 1B, and many complete Spanish 2. After high-school placement tests, the majority of our students place out of Spanish 1, and many score well enough to place out of Spanish 2, even if their high school does not allow freshmen to take junior-level classes.
For students who are ready to begin the formal study of Spanish in sixth grade, Spanish 1A represents the first half of a high school-level Spanish class. This pace allows students to establish a solid base of knowledge from which to grow as language learners. The course emphasizes simultaneous progress in the four basic language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. We cover the topics you might expect such as offering greetings, sharing personal information, describing family members, reciting numbers, telling time, discussing school life, asking questions, and talking about hobbies—and we do so in inventive ways. Your child will write a web profile and blog in Spanish; create a family tree and introduce family members to the class; make a video teaching someone how to tell time; and present a favorite topic to the class through an original work of art such as a song, comic book, or puppet show. Students also learn about important customs in Spanish-speaking countries and participate in traditional celebrations such as making luminarias at Christmastime. Our hope is that your child will be inspired to use Spanish in and beyond the classroom, take risks and make mistakes, and learn to recognize and celebrate cultural differences.
As an alternative to Spanish 1A in grades 6 – 8, Spanish Pre-1A targets new ROBS students who have had little or no prior exposure to Spanish, as well as students who are not yet ready for the rigorous, honors-level track of Spanish 1A. The goal of this course is to increase student comfort and confidence in learning foundational skills and concepts that will ease the transition to Spanish 1A.
In 2020, about 30% of sixth graders are participating in Spanish Pre-1A and 45% are taking Spanish 1A.
Dozens of ROBS students earn medals each year in the National Spanish Exam, signifying the top quarter of all participants, most of whom are in high school. Some Raiders even earn perfect scores!