Cushman’s World Languages Program prepares our students to responsibly participate in a global community that requires cultural understanding and the ability to communicate through many contexts in a second or third language.
The delivery of our Spanish program is through engaging, authentic experiences that develop students’ enthusiasm toward the use of the Spanish language. We address bilingual and bicultural education using a spiraling curriculum in which open-ended activities and opportunities for oral, body language and written communication provide each child with the framework to develop on his/her individual continuum of learning. All children, beginning with our three year olds, receive Spanish instruction.
The Spanish curriculum prepares students to express the Spanish language in oral and written form in which correct pronunciation, vocabulary, cognates, grammar, and fluency are reinforced.
All students beginning with three years old receive Mandarin Chinese classes which are designed to provide students with an exposure to the language and culture. Through multi-sensory experiences that include music, movement, games, literature, dance and art, students begin to learn the culture and language. Students learn Chinese tones and useful daily expressions and progress to more challenging practices such as the writing of basic Chinese characters with traditional calligraphy.
The Cushman School became the first elementary school in the United States to host international exchange students from China in 2007. Twelve students and three school representatives from the Affiliated Elementary School of Hunan University of Changsha were guests of Cushman students, parents and teachers. Now, on a rotating basis, each school sends students and faculty members to each other’s school to receive this invaluable experience of learning about each other’s daily life, customs, culture and language.
The Cushman Middle School is one of a very few South Florida schools that ensure Latin remains a required subject. Its design is to provide students with a technology driven, integrated approach in developing a love for the Latin language while learning the study skills that will serve as their foundation for future success. The understanding of ancient Roman and Greek cultures come alive as students engage in authentic learning experiences and project-based instruction. As students learn about topics related to those ancient civilizations such as their government, people, traditions, entertainment and daily life, and compare them to those in present day, they begin to see how they influenced Western civilization.
As more than half of English words are derived from Latin, the Middle School Latin Program provides students with an understanding of the connection between the two languages while increasing their English word power and Latin vocabulary. Students develop proficiency in writing as they engage in writing drills of familiar material in which they use proper spelling, capitalization, punctuation, basic construction, grammar, and vocabulary. Experiences in translating English sentences into Latin using correct syntax and/or expanding sentences when given an appropriate clue not only develop students’ writing abilities but also their reading skills.