Leading with Language
Buenos Dias! Buon Giorno!
Ms. Rubina Brach with Msgr. Chieffo and some of our Italian students.
SMM School is blessed to offer students two foreign languages—Spanish and Italian! The world language teacher for all students, Ms. Rubina Brach, exclaims, “It’s so wonderful to see our littlest ones greet you in the hall in Spanish or share a newly learned word from a lesson. Our older students demonstrate confidence when they’re able to express thoughts and conversations in a different language.”
During Spanish, second graders practice the ‘Hail Mary,’ as Ms. Brach reminds them, “You are making Mary so proud.” Another creative idea Ms. Brach employs with her primary grades is reading and acting out short stories in Spanish; this is an engaging, fun, and expressive way for them to learn and retain their Spanish words. In December, the second grade also learned about and made a lovely display in the school for our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day. Meanwhile, the third grade learned about ‘Las Posadas’ or ‘The Inn,’ which is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico.
Students in the fifth and sixth grades focus on verb forms. They recently conjugated the Spanish verb ‘comer,’ which means ‘to eat,’ and the students created and spoke amusing sentences around what the different Christmas characters ate at the North Pole!
In the sixth grade, students choose Spanish or Italian. In a lovely tribute to Jesus, our sixth-grade Italian students sang a traditional Italian Christmas carol written in 1754 called “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” which translates to “You Descend From The Stars” at this year’s Christmas concert. This delight- ful song was written by a Catholic Bishop in Naples, Italy. Not to be outdone, those in the sixth-grade Spanish class sang a verse of the same song in Spanish.
Seventh and eighth graders are growing each day with their knowledge of Spanish. Ms. Brach comments, “They do quite a bit of reading and writing in Spanish, and it’s incredible to see their thoughts come together so creatively.” They are currently reading a chapter book in Spanish. She continues, “Their hard work is certainly preparing them for high school. I am truly blessed to be the teacher of these wonderful students!”