Standards for Foreign Language Learning

 

Calico Spanish meets or exceeds the requirements set in “Standards for Learning Spanish” as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The standards were developed around five key goals for language learners. These goals are focused on five target areas and are referred to as “The 5 C’s.”

Communication
Cultures
Connections
Comparisons
Communities

Goal One: Communication

Communicate in Spanish

Standard 1.1 : Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 1.1. Throughout the lessons students engage in conversations with their teachers and peers. They provide and obtain information as they study different curriculum strands such as math, calendar, alphabet, animals and colors. Students are taught how to express their feelings and emotions in several different formats, and a classroom poster displaying a wide range of emotions supports them.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • In Chapter 2, students engage in conversations regarding the verbs “comer, beber y necesitar (eat, drink and need)”.
  • In the “Diego dice” game, (and its many variations used throughout the curriculum), students engage in a variety of tasks such as counting, standing, jumping and turning in circles as they use the Spanish language to provide and obtain information to perform the game activities.
  • Throughout the program, students engage in common classroom interactions such as greeting each other and their teacher.
  • In Chapter 1, geography is explored as the students learn the color word “azul (blue)” and apply the word to the various bodies of water around the world.
  • In Chapters 7 and 8, students learn to express what they want to do.
  • Beginning in Chapter 2, a “Preguntas / Questions” section allows students to focus on the use of interrogative phrases to obtain information from others.

Standard 1.2 : Students understand and interpret spoken and written Spanish on a variety of topics.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 1.2. Throughout the curriculum, students interpret the spoken words of their teacher and peers and are given independent practice to write in Spanish as they move onto extension activities with various sentence and story formats provided.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Students read and interpret the song lyrics as they learn and sing along with the Mi guitarrí CD on topics ranging from the Spanish alphabet to making hot chocolate.
  • The game “Diego dice” provides ample opportunities for students to interpret and perform the actions the leader is verbally instructing them to complete.
  • In Chapter 3, students identify the various parts of the body by labeling, reading, illustrating and then participating in a song that helps to unify the concepts learned. This creates a strong dynamic for retention as students experience multi-faceted activities throughout the curriculum all designed to help them assimilate what they are learning.
  • In Chapter 13, the drawing activity, “¡Dibujemos! (Let’s Draw),” gives students an opportunity to draw an image based on their interpretation of the teacher’s directions.

Standard 1.3 : Students present information, concepts and ideas in Spanish to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 1.3. Throughout the curriculum, students are actively engaged in presenting information about concepts such as calendar, numbers, songs, letters, colors and animals through both written and oral communication. Students engage in dialogue utilizing the Spanish language as they are immersed in a variety of concepts and ideas as well as writing activities that can be read aloud to their peers or adults.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Beginning in Chapter 3, students are encouraged to create their own calendars as part of an extension activity. Students are then able to use Spanish to ask questions of their peers using the calendar as the basis for their questions and answers.
  • In Chapter 5, the teacher will lead students into a discussion of a poem about a “Poor Little Doggy,” so that students have the opportunity to express their ideas regarding emotions and consequences within the context of the poem.
  • In Chapter 9, students are given the opportunity to write sentences using the verb querer (to want) to describe what activity they want to do on each day of the week.

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Goal Two: Cultures

Gain Knowledge and Understanding of the Cultures of the World

Standard 2.1 : Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of Hispanic cultures.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
While Calico Spanish Level Two provides more depth to this particular standard, Level One provides an adequate base from which to launch an appreciation for the practices and perspectives of the Hispanic culture.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Each day the lesson begins with the teacher greeting the students in the traditional way, and ends with the tradition of the “despedida,” which is the singing or recitation of verses to say, “Good bye.”
  • In the “Did you know?” segments of the Mi guitarrí Songbook, students learn that common greetings change throughout the day in a Spanish speaking culture.
  • Several traditional songs and poems are introduced throughout the program including “Caballito blanco,” “Rima de chocolate,” and “¡A la víbora de la mar!” A number of these traditional songs have corresponding games to actively engage students in the culture.
  • The curriculum encourages the instructor to conclude their program studies with a Spanish fiesta.

Standard 2.2 : Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives of Hispanic cultures.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
While Calico Spanish Level Two provides more depth to this particular standard, Level One introduces this standard through the use of “Did you know?” segments throughout the Mi guitarrí Songbook.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Students are introduced to common products found in Hispanic cultures, such as traditional foods like the cocoa bean from which chocolate is derived.
  • The Mayan and Aztec civilizations are mentioned in their use of chocolate as currency. The banana is discussed in regards to the various common names it has in different regions of Latin America.
  • Students are introduced to a traditional farm in the song “Mi tío tiene una granja” and are able to learn the names and corresponding animal sounds in Spanish.

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Goal Three: Connections

Connect with Other Disciplines and Acquire Information

Standard 3.1 : Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through Spanish.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 3.1. Throughout the curriculum, students learn about, discuss, read and often write about animals, numbers, opposites, money and calendar. They practice counting money, play games to reinforce grammar usage, and discuss where various animals live and what they eat.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • In Chapter 10, students learn about colors and how they relate to a variety of professions as they are introduced to the song Colores, colores.
  • In various activities throughout the curriculum, students are given opportunities to create their own song lyrics, practice geography, read and write in Spanish through the use of Spanish books, alphabet flashcards, verb flashcards, poems and songs.

Standard 3.2 : Students acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the Spanish language and its cultures.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
While Calico Spanish Level Two provides more depth to this particular standard, Level One provides a base from which to launch an appreciation for the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the Spanish language and its cultures. In Level One, students read, listen to and talk about the cultural foundation of poems and songs written for native speakers of Spanish.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Reciting the poem “Dos monitos,” which is about monkeys and their yummy bananas, gives the students the opportunity to discuss other common terms for the popular Latin American fruit.
  • The song “Mi guitarrí,” which is a Spanish version of “Musical Chairs,” serves as an opportunity to compare and contrast traditional children’s games across cultures.

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Goal Four: Comparisons

Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture

Standard 4.1 : Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons between Hispanic cultures and their own.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides many references and opportunities for students to connect what they are learning with their own culture and the Hispanic culture.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • When learning the song “Buenos días,” students are directed to a “Did you know?” text box. “Did you know?” text boxes, found throughout the Mi guitarrí Songbook, are teaching opportunities to share specific information about the Hispanic culture. In this instance, students discuss common greetings used in the Spanish language and how they vary throughout the day.
  • During calendar time, a difference between the two cultures is highlighted in Chapter 1, in how days of the week are set up. In Hispanic cultures, the first day of the week is “el lunes (Monday).” Days of the week are not capitalized and they take the masculine article “el”.
  • In each chapter, as students learn the Spanish alphabet, they have the opportunity to hear and compare the letter sounds to the corresponding letters in the English alphabet.
  • Throughout the curriculum, students encounter and identify cognates between Spanish and English, highlighting the many similarities between the Spanish and English languages.

Standard 4.2 : Students demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons between Hispanic cultures and their own.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 4.2. It is valuable for students to recognize they are a part of a culture and are also learning about and appreciating another culture. The poems and songs highlighted in Calico Spanish bring a rich cultural perspective to the classroom and allow for opportunities to compare and contrast the students’ own culture and the Hispanic culture they are introduced to through Calico Spanish.

Examples of classroom activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Chapter 8 introduces the song “Mi guitarrí,” which is a traditional Spanish version of the game “Musical Chairs.”
  • Chapter 13 introduces the song, “¡A la víbora de la mar!,” which is a traditional song with an accompanying game/dance played in a manner similar to “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
  • Singing and playing these games, as well as the discussion the activities generate, gives students the opportunity to experience and discuss the similarities and differences between the two cultures.

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Goal Five: Communities

Participate in Communities at Home and Around the World

Standard 5.1 : Students use Spanish both within and beyond the school setting.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 5.1. The ultimate goal of Calico Spanish is for students to take their knowledge and understanding of the Spanish language and utilize it within and beyond the school setting. Students are given many opportunities throughout the curriculum to do this. Many student activities will be sent home for students to share with their families.

Examples of activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Students will share the songs they learn in Calico Spanish with friends and family during school as well as on their own time outside the school setting.
  • Students write simple stories and draw pictures to go along with what they are learning and then are able to share those with others, taking what they have learned and applying it to real life.
  • Students perform songs, recite poems, decorate and explain calendars, ask and answer questions all in Spanish to each other, to their families and also when they celebrate the fiesta at the conclusion of their Spanish class.
  • The Calico Spanish assessments offer check points along the way for teachers to gauge the depth to which students are acquiring and able to use the Spanish language skills being taught.

Standard 5.2 : Students show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using Spanish for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

Evidence of Calico Spanish meeting or exceeding these standards:
Calico Spanish provides daily opportunities for students to meet the requirements of Standard 5.2. This curriculum was designed with the intent of enjoyment and enrichment happening simultaneously for students. The Calico Spanish curriculum gives many opportunities for students to learn, enhance, and expand their understanding of several key concepts. While learning Spanish, students also learn about math, colors, animals, geography, writing, music, poetry, letters, sounds and social games. As students become more familiar and comfortable with Spanish within these concept areas, their ability to use Spanish for personal enjoyment will expand.

Examples of activities that show evidence of this particular standard include:

  • Students can listen to the Mi guitarrí CD for personal enjoyment.
  • Students may sing the Spanish songs they have learned on the playground, on the bus, or at home, simply because they enjoy them.
  • Throughout the curriculum games are played for learning and enjoyment. In Chapter 6, students are introduced to the “Salón de clase musical” game, where they identify classroom items. “Diego dice,” the Calico Spanish version of “Simon Says”, is played throughout the curriculum to review and practice new concepts and vocabulary in a fun and engaging way.
  • In Chapter 5, the song “Cuenten conmigo” is used as a method of reviewing and making connections between music, vocabulary and one-to-one correspondence.

In summary, Calico Spanish is a complete introductory Spanish program that is aligned to the ACTFL standards. Calico Spanish provides students with opportunities to make connections and comparisons about the cultures and communities within and beyond their own experience as they begin the journey of communicating in the Spanish language. Throughout the Calico Spanish program, students will have ample opportunities to engage in a wide variety of activities that will equip them to be life-long language learners and gain access to new opportunities in our multicultural, multilingual world.

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