The Global Languages program at The IDEAL School expands student horizons and prepares students to be effective global citizens by exposing them to languages and cultures other than American English. Early introduction of global languages encourages students to learn more readily, promotes cultural competence, and extends appreciation for cultural diversity. Students work toward increased oral and written proficiency and fluency, becoming linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate in one or more of the languages offered.
All Lower School students study Spanish. In keeping with the school’s commitment to differentiated instruction, language classes incorporate flexible groupings, opportunities to focus on different areas of interest, and a variety of projects to display understanding.
Appreciation for global languages is also infused throughout IDEAL’s creative arts program. For example, dance is used to teach the Spanish alphabet by integrating music and movement into the lesson. Periodically, students whose primary language is Spanish are invited to support the classroom teacher. By doing this, self-esteem and leadership skills are promoted and students can take pride in their culture.
Lower School students can also choose Italian and American Sign Language (ASL) as electives. The Italian class is offered to students in Grades 4 and 5 and is a grant-funded partnership with IACE. The ASL class brings some of IDEAL's oldest and youngest students together in a joint class where seniors and juniors help kindergartners and first graders learn sign language with crafts and games.