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The Instructor

Becky Klassen started learning French in kindergarten when she was four years old.  She attended Grove City College and received a BA in French/ Spanish education.  She later received a M.Ed. in Foreign Language Education/ TESOL from the University of South Florida.  She has lived in France, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Paraguay.  For over twenty years, she has taught students from all over the world ranging in age from preschool to graduate school.  She is passionate about language learning and other cultures.

Statement of Philosophy

            The aim of foreign language education should be to provide students with knowledge of the language, culture, and history of people from backgrounds that are outside of the students’ own cultural experience. By first gaining a firm linguistic foundation, the students will learn to appreciate and respect the differences that they see in others so that they will become understanding, caring and productive members of the global community.

            Due to the globalization which characterizes today’s world, every student needs to learn a foreign language and should reach the level of competency in that language at which the student is able to effectively communicate with others. Speaking someone else’s language is the first step toward building a relationship with that person. Since foreign language skills require human interaction, attention should be given to developing oral and aural communication skills between students. The best curriculum is one in which the student will not only learn more about a specific subject area, but also learn about him or herself and the world in which he or she lives.

            The teacher is to be the best model after which the student can pattern his or her own life. This is demonstrated through respect, care, and love for the students as well as a concern for the success of the student. Peace, patience, and self-control should be reflected in effective classroom management in order to provide the best atmosphere in which to learn.  Learning and fun should take place simultaneously as students discover that the classroom is a safe and inviting place to practice their newly acquired language skills.

            The goal of the Spanish program at the Henry Barnard School should be to adequately equip students to speak Spanish in both local and international contexts.  Special all-school projects as well as specific grade-level projects will be completed throughout the year.  These projects are intended to increase the students’ cultural knowledge as well as to give the students a platform to practice their language skills in a more public setting.  Collaboration across the elementary curriculum is expected and may occur in the following ways: teaching math facts in Spanish; learning about Hispanic artists in art class; learning about the historical events that brought Spanish to Central and South America; learning about ancient civilizations such as the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs; creating websites to promote a Spanish-speaking country at a Spanish Fair; learning about the rainforest in Spanish.


National Standards for World Language Learning

The Henry Barnard School Spanish curriculum is based on the ACTFL World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages:

  • Standard 1: Communication: Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.


  • Standard 2: Cultures:  Interact with cultural competence and understanding.


  • Standard 3: Connections:  Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career- related situations.


  • Standard 4: Comparisons:  Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.


  • Standard 5: Communities:  Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.



Why Learn Another Language?

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