At Avenues, our goal is to graduate students who are truly at ease beyond their borders. Second language instruction is integral to achieving this goal. Guided by the most current research on language acquisition and evidence showing the significant social and cognitive benefits of learning a second language, we have created an immersion curriculum designed to educate students who can converse comfortably on subjects ranging from the everyday to the academic, with a focus on global awareness.
At Avenues, students in nursery through fourth grade spend half of their time learning in English and half of their time learning in the second language of their choice—Spanish or Chinese. Beginning in September 2017, fifth grade students will also be in immersion classrooms. The Chinese language curriculum at Avenues teaches speaking in Mandarin and writing in Simplified Chinese. All content subjects (literacy, math, social studies, music and art) are taught in both English and Spanish or Chinese. Students in grades five through 12 receive intensive language study in the immersion style. Students in these grades are placed in leveled language classes according to their proficiency.
In addition to the social and personal benefits of being multi-lingual, current research shows that second language acquisition is highly beneficial to the development of brain functions and cognitive skills. Our coordinated curriculum in both English and the immersion languages leads to a high level of academic rigor and an opportunity for interdisciplinary learning that is engaging and meaningful.
For children in nursery through first grade, please select a preference for Chinese, Spanish or “No Preference.” Please note that the choice of language is a factor in our selection process. Applicants are admitted to a particular language track. If you truly have no preference between Spanish and Chinese, the admissions committee will choose a language placement for you in order to achieve a balanced class composition.
Prospective students applying to grades two through four must already have attained proficiency in either Chinese or Spanish. Children will be assessed one-on-one in English and in either Spanish or Chinese.
Students in grades five through 12 will have intensive language instruction classes as they develop proficiency in either Spanish or Chinese. Beginning in September 2017, fifth grade students will be in immersion classrooms.
Avenues teachers are extremely well qualified, with extensive training in subject content and, for the language teachers, in second language instruction. English and second language teachers collaborate extensively to create and nurture the social, emotional and academic growth of their students. Teachers share the responsibility for teaching the content and curriculum and communicate with each other regularly about student progress and concerns.
Language teachers use the second language 100 percent of the time for both instructional and procedural interactions, providing sufficient input for consistent incremental assimilation of the language. Through formal and informal assessments, teachers monitor students’ progress and offer opportunities to strengthen their language skills through dynamic and differentiated groupings.
- Nelson Mandela
December 22, 2016 - For the past several weeks, Avenues Upper Division Spanish 5 classes have been communicating with students from Liceo 7, an all-girls school in Santiago, Chile. The idea of the project is to have students converse in both English and Spanish to practice their second language outside of the classroom, while acting as a sort of linguistic mentor to their pen pals to teach their native language. More...
November 7, 2016 - Students throughout the school will be building a “stripped-down” version of a Hello Hub, learning about community-led projects and gaining insight into what it’s like to build something for real-world use that is truly life changing for people in remote and marginalized communities. More...