Academics

World Language

The inclusion of world language instruction at all BCD grade levels demonstrates our commitment to developing communication skills in all students. As students acquire communication skills in world languages and knowledge of other cultures, they gain perspective of their own language and culture. The difference in ways of speaking and thinking make learning world languages a valuable part of our program.

Why world languages?

World language instruction represents an opportunity for students to develop skills central to a well-rounded, classical education. BCD students learn communication strategies and gain cultural appreciation that will aid them in their futures participating in an ever-increasing global community. Research shows that learning world languages benefits students in many ways:

  • helps young students to develop a more native-like pronunciation
  • enhances listening skills and memory 
  • boosts problem-solving skills
  • improves overall school performance
  • contributes to higher standardized test scores
  • draws attention to how language works

Learning how to learn another language carries as much weight as the communication skills and cultural knowledge students gain.


Program Overview

The world language program at Boulder Country Day School provides a gradual, thorough exposure to language, emphasizing communication skills.  Communication offers a context for learning basic grammar concepts and specific linguistic skills. Students not only learn linguistic skills, but also develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the world around us, especially French-speaking or Spanish-speaking cultures and the influence of ancient Roman society on Western civilization.  The overall objective of the world language program is for students to internalize the vocabulary and structures necessary to achieve basic proficiency in a language other than English.

Curriculum

Preschool

World language instruction begins in preschool with one 30-minute French or Spanish class per week.
 
The preschool program at BCD aims to be experiential in nature and provides an exposure to world languages. The preschool program encourages students to be comfortable hearing and imitating another language through songs, stories, and crafts. Repetition and taking turns represent key skills at this young age as the students repeat common greetings, sing, and follow simple commands in the language. 

Elementary

In the elementary school, students continue their study of French and Spanish.  In Kindergarten through 2nd grade, students study one language per sememster, in three, 30 minute classes.  Beginning in 4th grade, students choose either Spanish or French and they take it all year long.  
 
The Foreign Language Exploratory (FLEX) model for language learning provides the framework for the BCD elementary program. The goals of a FLEX program are to introduce a foundational level of language learning and to produce emerging language proficiency in students.  The elementary program at BCD encourages students to listen for specific purposes, to respond to show understanding, and to begin to engage with spoken and written language. Fundamentally, BCD’s elementary world language program cultivates a lifelong interest in language learning and in world cultures. 
 
Our beginning French and Spanish programs in the primary grades focus on exploring the skills of listening comprehension and speaking.  Upper elementary language programs also introduce word recognition and reading comprehension. 
 
Latin at BCD begins with a “Latin Readiness” program in fourth grade. Fifth grade students begin the Latin reading program with a focus on grammar translation, syntax, and word derivation that continues in the middle school years.  4th and 5th graders take Latin two times each week.

Middle School

Middle school students choose to pursue either French or Spanish daily and they also continue their Latin instruction of 100 minutes per week.
 
Local high school curricula influence the use of texts chosen for all three languages in the middle school program.  In French and Spanish, students continue to explore the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing and incorporate the study of more complex grammatical and syntactical structures. Latin classes focus on grammar translation with a particular emphasis on syntax and word derivation.
 
Course objectives at the middle school level focus on vocabulary acquisition, grammatical knowledge, and communicative proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as on increasing insight into the cultures and communities where the language is used.
 
Middle school students also have the opportunity to study Mandarin as one of their Exploratory classes. This class introduces students to the basics of Mandarin Chinese, including painting characters with traditional ink.
Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 • After-hours x229 • info@bouldercountryday.org
Boulder Country Day School, where academic distinction meets education with character. BCD is a top-rated, accredited private school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover his or her own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, rigorous curriculum and a focus on community, our preschool, elementary and IB middle school teachers strive to create a well-rounded educational environment that balances traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and project-based learning.

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