The study of a foreign language is a key component of the Anacapa School program. Students in the Lower School study conversational Spanish, while students in the Upper School study either Italian or Spanish for a minimum of three years with a fourth year encouraged. The complete program is both rigorous and effective.
A primary goal of the foreign language program is for the students to learn, understand and interpret another language in both spoken and written form. Students will be able to engage in conversation, express feelings and emotions, as well as exchange opinions, concepts and ideas on a variety of topics. Students will also learn about the culture, customs, geography, history and traditions of the countries where the target language is spoken.
Both Italian and Spanish are taught using Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), a method which emphasizes acquisition through comprehensible input. The pedagogy is based on research regarding the brain’s method of storing and then using language to communicate. It is an intentionally low stress approach to language acquisition because this is what research shows works best.
In addition to the TPRS series, enrichment in many components (vocabulary to cultural) occurs on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Preparing authentic recipes and making films in the target languages are just two of the many examples of the broad range of activities. The small class size at the different levels of language study at Anacapa afford enhanced opportunities to practice skills in ways that larger classes could not accommodate, resulting in accelerated proficiency and challenges in confidence overcome at a particularly fast rate.