Studies have shown that exposure to foreign languages early in life is highly beneficial. Peabody offers both Spanish and French instruction to students, starting in Kindergarten and taught in alternating semesters up through grade three. At the end of 3rd grade, students choose one language to study more in depth through 8th grade.
In the early grades, language acquisition is presented mainly in an intuitive way, through songs, rhymes, games and short command activities using the TPR (Total Physical Response) method. Differentiation at this level is primarily verbal.
In the upper elementary levels, students begin building reading and writing skills and explore an array of topics. In the process, they are exposed to culture and engage in more complex conversation. At that point, students who already have a high level of proficiency in one language will be best served by choosing the other of the two languages that Peabody offers.
In Middle School World Languages become a core academic subject that meets advanced studies requirements and is ultimately worth high school credit, completing French I and French II or Spanish I and Spanish II. Students engage in a curriculum that reinforces pronunciation and grammar concepts, as well as develop oral and writing skills. Cultural components, such as literature, arts, and current events, are also incorporated into their studies. In addition, students also participate in special projects and immersion opportunities. For example, Peabody’s French curriculum features a comprehensive exchange program with the Vauban School in Belfort, France.