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Estimated Completion Time

9-10 weeks


Elementary Spanish is an exploratory introduction to the Spanish culture and
language. Students will learn the target language in a story-based framework, providing a fun and positive experience within the learning. Each lesson is taught through an engaging, authentic story that gives students an opportunity to see and hear the language in context. Students will learn foundational skills in listening and speaking in the early levels, and will add Spanish literacy skills beginning in Level 2. The courses provide audio and visual stimuli for all learning types and ample opportunities to hear, speak, read, write, and record the language. This suite also provides strategically-based reviews of past learning. Each course is built on connections to an authentic culture of a specific Spanish-speaking region through the arts, celebrations, and traditions of the culture, leading students on the path to becoming global citizens. Courses provide a natural progression of learning through the following language acquisition stages:

  • Preproduction
  • Early Production
  • Speech emergence
  • Intermediate fluency

Please view the Elementary Parents’ Survival Guide: The First Four Weeks of Online Learning for guidance on helping your student in the transition to online learning.

Course Requirements

All levels of Spanish require independent reading skills. We recommend students begin Spanish sometime during grades 2 or 3, depending on their reading level. Those who are not yet reading independently can take the course, provided an adult is available to read material to the student.

To achieve success, students are expected to submit work in each course weekly. Students can learn at their own pace; however, “any pace” still means that students must make progress in the course every week. To measure learning, students complete self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, projects, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Students and families are expected to maintain regular contact with teachers because, when teachers, students, and parents work together, students are successful.

Required Materials – Please view the list of materials before registering.

Major Topics and Concepts

Module One

  • Location, countries, and culture of Central America
  • Location and culture of Costa Rica
  • Greetings, introductions, and goodbyes
  • Verbs conocer and encontrarse
  • Using gestures to greet people
  • Formal and informal greetings
  • Different places people live
  • Solo, sola and juntos
  • Airport phrases and vocabulary
  • Differences between English and Spanish sentence structure
  • Adjectives and articles agreeing in gender and number
  • Asking and answering questions about processes at an airport
  • Reading and answering questions about a flight itinerary
  • Natural landforms
  • Different parts of the inside of an airplane
  • Por qué and porque
  • Asking and answering questions using por qué and porque
  • Flying on an airplane and safety procedures
  • Reading and answering questions about an airplane safety manual
  • Greetings and introductions
  • Vocabulary related to family members
  • Using adjectives to describe physical appearance
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Este and esta
  • Asking and answering questions about physical appearance
  • Reading and responding to a short story about appearances

Module Two

  • Steps to getting on a plane
  • Important places in San Jose
  • Culture of Costa Rica
  • Parts of the house
  • Accentuation rules
  • The preposition de
  • Belongings
  • Reading, understanding, and writing advertisements
  • Culture of Costa Rica
  • Places in the community
  • Activities around the house
  • Nosotros and nosotras
  • Conjugating verbs with nosotros and nosotras
  • Reading and acting out a drama
  • Writing sentences
  • Words and expressions related to food and drinks
  • Culture of Costa Rica
  • Restaurant words and expressions
  • Demonstrative pronouns
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Belongings
  • Read a menu and place an order
  • Body parts
  • Culture of Costa Rica
  • Express and talk about feelings and emotions
  • Identify past tense expressions
  • Aquí and allá
  • Read and write an email

Module Three

  • Greetings
  • Introductions
  • Simple questions
  • Words to describe people
  • Correct form of the verb ‘gustar’
  • Words that describe personality traits
  • Aspects of my personality
  • Someone’s personality
  • Words that describe people’s personalities
  • Vocabulary related to the movies
  • Movie ticket prices
  • Culture of Costa Rica
  • Snacks offered in Costa Rican theaters
  • Movie poster and its content
  • Familiar words, phrases, expressions and sentences
  • School subjects
  • Inverted question and exclamation marks
  • School related vocabulary
  • Class schedule and its content
  • My feelings and other people’s feelings
  • Vocabulary related to amusement parks
  • Contractions al and del
  • Vocabulary related to amusement parks
  • Adverbs ‘rápidamente’ and ‘lentamente’

Module Four

  • Common weather terms
  • Different aspects of a news report
  • Read a news report
  • Current events in Central America
  • Recognize that extreme weather conditions sometimes lead to natural disasters
  • Types of natural disasters
  • Identify what colonization is
  • Recognize who colonized central America and how long they did
  • Compare Spain coming to central America and Christopher Columbus coming to the Americas
  • Identify where traditions come from
  • Superlatives for most and least
  • Recognize the Guatemalan tradition of the festival of la Semana Santa
  • False cognates
  • Common weather terms
  • Aspects of a news report
  • News report
  • Locate Central America on a world map
  • Label the countries of Central America
  • Animals of the tropical jungle
  • Recognize what jungle animals eat
  • Actions taken by good citizens in the home
  • Actions taken by good citizens in the community
  • Actions taken by good citizens around the world
  • Use Es __ que with adjectives

Credits .5




Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.