World Language Experiences
Mt. Helix Academy provides several world language experiences. Our required sequence is in Spanish. In addition to Spanish, however, Jr. High students have the opportunity to participate in several language electives, including Japanese, French, and American Sign Language.
The Spanish Language Program at Mt. Helix Academy begins in Kindergarten when children are still young enough to be highly effective language learners. Their lessons emphasize basic Spanish vocabulary and the sounds of the Spanish language. Skills are taught primarily in context and in simple conversation. The enjoyment of learning a new language is enhanced through songs, games, and chants, and there is sufficient repetition so that our students master what they have been taught.
Mt. Helix Academy students continue to learn and practice Spanish throughout elementary school. Jr. High students receive Spanish instruction every day. The curriculum gradually advances to more sophisticated levels of reading, writing, and speaking.
Having progressed through our Spanish Program, Mt. Helix Academy students are positioned for success in their required high school language courses. Ninety percent of students who graduate from Mt. Helix Academy continue to take Spanish and are accelerated into advanced levels of Spanish in high school. Many of our graduates test into honors classes or Advanced Placement classes.
Multiculturalism is an important aspect of Mt. Helix Academy and it is given a special celebration in March of each year. The celebration begins with each grade, Kindergarten through eighth, choosing a country or culture to study. Their studies are integrated into all areas of the curriculum and include literature and internet research on their chosen country. Students learn many facts about the history, culture, and traditions of their chosen country, which they present in reports and PowerPoint presentations. They also construct elaborate presentations that they feel best represent the people and their social history, including performing traditional songs and dances, and creating amazing works of art in the style of their chosen culture.
Multicultural Night is a very special occasion
The month’s activities culminate in Multicultural Night, held on the last Thursday of March. This event has become one of the most popular highlights of the Mt. Helix Academy year. Hundreds of students, their families, and friends from the community sample delicious foods from around the world at our international food fair after which they tour the authentically decorated classrooms. It’s like entering another culture. The classrooms are filled with amazing projects completed by the students during the month. Featured cultures have included Native America, Africa, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, India, Japan, Russia, China, Thailand, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, and Latin America.