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Using Spanish in the Real World

At Wye River Upper School, we have decided to maximize our language learning time by teaching college-level foreign language classes. Meaning, that when a student takes Spanish 101 in college, that course is simply a condensed version (four months) of a full year of high school Spanish (10 months). The goal of our transition from high school Spanish to college Spanish is to enable our students to engage with the Spanish-speaking world seamlessly upon graduation. Our academic program is rooted in preparing our students for the world beyond our doors.

Our Spanish curriculum comes from the illustrious Indiana University. Our current Spanish instructor, Philip Swann, is a graduate of the university and was an instructor there as well. He has pulled the best elements of the Spanish program and infused them with real-world activities and experiences. Some highlights of the program are: students learn practical language skills through in-depth language analysis of structure and expression; exposure to historical and cultural influences on the Spanish language; students are prepared to interact with native speakers of all levels both casually and professionally; students will interact with both native and fluent speakers of Spanish from various countries, accents, and dialects, illustrating the broad yet diverse spectrum of the Spanish language, and students gain an appreciation for both their native language (L1) and Spanish. Mr. Swann has also studied in Spain and Argentina, creating a vast network with native speakers.

We believe our students will benefit from full immersion in this language program. For the most part, they will have classes taught in Spanish with moments of clarification in English when needed. Wye River Upper School is a nurturing and supportive environment. We provide welcoming spaces for our students to take risks. We know that transitioning to an intense and immersive Spanish program will be challenging for our students, but the potential rewards outway the immediate discomfort. Students are supported within the classroom through the use of multimodal instruction, visual frameworks to support students’ note-taking and review strategies, and a variety of assessment formats to assist with individual learning styles and individualized learning plans.

We invite you to see our school, experience the warmth of our community, and observe first-hand the dynamic and stimulating educational experience offered here each day.

Please continue to review our website and then email Tracie Spence, Director of Enrollment Management and Communications, 443.262.8294, to schedule a visit or learn more.


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