A unique approach to language learning

From the verb ‘adelantar’: to get ahead, move forward, make progress, overtake. Recent research has shown that it is almost impossible to master a foreign language unless you start to learn it by the age of 10; this means our girls really are getting ahead.

The Adelante programme is unique to Channing. Modern language teaching happens in many schools but the way in which our Spanish learning is approached is different and noteworthy because it impacts on all girls in the school, aged 4 to 18, as well as on the staff, and across all areas of school life.

The programme is designed to inspire and educate all pupils and staff to gain a proficiency in Spanish and an appreciation of Hispanic cultures. The aim is to ensure that all our girls leave the school with a high degree of competency and fluency in Spanish.

Adelante in the Junior School

The girls have regular Spanish lessons as part of the curriculum, where age-appropriate activities are undertaken to promote and encourage their skills and confidence in Spanish. For example, memory games are used to increase vocabulary skills and role-playing is employed to boost the pupils’ confidence in speaking the language.

In addition, we have several Spanish-speaking members of staff who apply Spanish learning across the curriculum. Furthermore, our Spanish assistant from the British Council is on hand to assist our teachers in Spanish lessons and across various other curriculum lessons, including PE. The girls derive pleasure from listening to applying Spanish using numbers, instructions, and sports vocabulary as they learn new skills in PE. Furthermore, Spanish is embedded in our co-curriculum and environment; there are Spanish signs around the school and we celebrate ‘Happy Birthday’ in Spanish every week.