French, German, and Spanish courses at both the regular and Honors level are offered by the Foreign Language Department. At advanced levels, dual enrollment and AP courses also become available to students. Although foreign language classes are not required for a high school diploma, at least two years in the same language must be completed for in-state public university admissions. Highly selective colleges may recommend up to three or four years of foreign language preparation.
In a competitive world of diminishing national boundaries, the need for communication and understanding of other peoples is imperative to the survival and development of any individual in any culture or society. We, the faculty at Corona del Sol, believe that the study of a second or third language is essential to the development of effective communication. Foreign language study not only facilitates the basic communicative skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing, it also provides insight into the value systems and behavioral patterns of other groups. Such a study can enlighten the student to the discovery of his/her heritage and culture and result in a better self-understanding and a greater sensitivity of humanity. We also feel it is important to relate to the student how the asset of a second language can increase the opportunities in many fields of employment.
Corona is fortunate to have a state-of-the-art digital audio, video, and internet language lab. A variety of lessons and methods allow our students to benefit from and create real-life situations in the target language, view and listen to authentic materials from a variety of foreign countries, perform paired and group activities free from distractions, and more. The lab environment provides effective, efficient and individualized practice for language students. It is an integral component of our curriculum and a great contributor to the success of our programs.
The study of any foreign language is not easy. Regardless of the difficulty of the language studied, it takes daily involvement and study in order to learn. The student quickly finds out that it is impossible to bluff his/her way through the language class. Students must learn a new phonetic system. Quite often, in order to teach the foreign language grammar, we find it is necessary to first teach the English grammar. Because of this, an added benefit to second language learners is that they become even more proficient in their own language. Progress in a language is based on accumulative knowledge.There must be constant review of past material. It takes some individuals more study time to grasp rules and concepts, to spell new vocabulary and learn proper accentuation than it does others.
You, as a parent, know your child better than we do. Please help him/her to set good study habits that reinforce what is presented in the classroom. Please consider the following suggestions:
1. Encourage your child to read the text. Vocabulary and explanations are generally presented in both languages.
2. Assist in the learning of vocabulary through oral and written drills. (Students are constantly accumulating new words that must be remembered throughout the course of their language study.)
3. Encourage him/her to study a minimum of 15 minutes daily on review material, in addition to the usual assignment.
4. Flash cards can be easily made from corrected worksheets, verb drills, and exercises, and often prove very helpful.
5. Although written work may not be assigned, encourage your child to review all that was covered in class. Ask him/her what was learned that day.
6. Please remind your child to a) come in to see their teacher for extra help when needed and b) make up any work missed due to an absence.
Learning a second language does not just consist of grammatical concepts. It is an excellent means of broadening the students' perspective of the world in which we live. The benefits are countless. The teaching as well as the learning of a second language can be rewarding and fun for both teacher and student. Thank you for letting us share this experience with your child. Your cooperation and interest are greatly appreciated. We welcome your questions and comments.
We strongly recommend that any student who completes the Spanish 1-2 (1st year) course with less than a "C" retake the course. We have found that students who do not do well in the first year will continue to struggle and will experience even further and more profound difficulties at higher levels. Since the study of foreign language is incremental, difficulties at early stages of the courses will become magnified as students advance. Retaking the course gives these students a chance to build the solid foundations which will make for a successful and enjoyable experience.
The AP (Advanced Placement) program prepares students for the AP exam which is generally taken at the end of the 4th year of language study. This exam, prepared by the College Board, is offered nationally in most disciplines and is regarded by most universities as the best measure of proficiency in a subject area. Although students specifically prepare for the test in the AP Spanish Language course (4th year),the beginning courses in Spanish are essential in forming a sound language foundation. We believe that our 4-year curricular plan successfully prepares students for this credit opportunity.