Students in the Junior School learn Spanish from Kindy.

Parents may ask, why Spanish? Significant research was done in the lead up to choosing a Junior School language pathway at Canterbury and the advantages of using a European based language were clear.

There are over 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide.

Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, which will provide students with great opportunities for local and global employment prospects. As a primarily phonetic language, Spanish is also easier for students to learn, and directly links in with the Junior School THRASS approach, allowing students to transfer the skills they have learnt about spelling into their language learning.

Students in Prep – Year 4 are involved in a one hour Spanish session per week, with students in Years 5 and 6 exposed to two hours of Spanish per week.

Learning a language broadens the personal, social and cultural understanding of students. The connectedness of countries and communities means learning a language supports people from all walks of life to negotiate experiences and meanings across languages and cultures. It also extends the capability to communicate and extends literacy proficiency in English. By understanding the idea of language and culture, students develop an intercultural understanding of different experiences and perspectives across the world. In turn, this helps a learner to reflect on their own heritage, culture, identity and values.

There are also proven cognitive advantages of learning a language. Students become better multi-taskers and improve their memory and attention span. Learning a language also strengthens analytical and reflective capabilities and enhances creative and critical thinking.

It also exposes students to wider options for their futures, in areas such as art, music, dance, travel, philosophy and science.