The Lower School Modern Language Program
Our Lower School modern language program is a great example of experiential learning in action: students are active and engaged, think creatively, and build cultural competency.
Students attend either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish language class three times a week for 40-minute lessons. For the first six weeks of the school year, 1st grade students are introduced to both languages offered by the Lower School. After this six-week period, students and their parents decide which language class they want to join for the rest of the year. Students may switch languages in 2nd or 3rd grade if the class has openings. By 3rd grade, we ask that students remain in either Mandarin or Spanish for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to develop a strong second language underpinning.
Our goal in Mandarin and Spanish is language proficiency. In the early years, students learn vocabulary for concepts such as food, body parts, seasons, colors, and numbers.
As children move through the Lower School their language skills extend from short dialogues to authentic conversations. Writing, literature, and grammar are introduced and practiced along the way. Mandarin Chinese- or Spanish-speaking cultures are explored through singing and acting, holiday celebrations, and storytelling.
Expert teachers are the key! Watch how Guimin and Pilar work with students – and how the students respond. Lower School Modern Language Program video
Head of School
Tim Bazemore presents ideas, reflections, and observations with the school community and beyond.
Follow him on Twitter @TimBazemore
This year's theme: Stand up for Nature
Catlin Gabel in the News
|Catlin Gabel chess organizers meet their counterparts in Africa |
Catlin Gabel students at the U.S. Embassy in Equatorial Guinea: From left: Ambassador Julie Furuta-Toy; Avi Gupta '19; Seth Talyansky '19; Sean Uan-Zo-li '21; Duncan Soiffer '20; and Technical Director of the National Chess Association Federico Elé Rano. Photo credit: Public Affairs Officer Brian Schiller of the US Embassy. Read the press release.
From Your Admission Team
Questions for Parents demystified
Whether the goal is to meet the reduced fee application deadline of December 14th or the final deadline after the new year, now is the time to begin thinking about the Questions for Parents component of the admission application.
Your best opportunity to help us get to know your child and your family is through your responses to these questions, so it's worth it to spend time on them. At first glance they may seem straightforward - what parents don't like to gush about their child? But finding the words to respond to your child's area for growth, why our school is a good educational setting for your child, and the ambiguous "anything else you'd like to share about your child" questions can require a little more thought. Following are some tips for making the most of these questions:
Consider the match. Make sure you've thought about why Catlin Gabel is a good match for your child. How is this academic environment conducive to your child's learning style? Would he or she do well in a day with different transitions? The match is an important aspect, and parents' understanding about the ideal academic environment for their child helps us assess the potential for success at Catlin Gabel.
Family Fit. When we talk about "family fit," we don't mean there is a single type of family that belongs here. Quite the opposite, in fact: Catlin Gabel draws families of all stripes from all sectors of Portland. We look for families who will embrace progressive education: inquiry-based, experiential, whole child, and educating for democracy.
Complete the Picture. To provide a complete and balanced story of your child's candidacy, please make sure your responses fill in the gaps. For example, if your child had a particularly rocky year in school, you may write about what happened as well as how you navigated that experience. Or if your child has a reserved nature, this is a good place to discuss the positive side of her personality type and how you see it playing out in our classrooms.
Final Advice. There is no need to use up the entire word allotment for each answer. Sometimes less is more. You don't need to respond to the question, "Is there anything else about your child you would like to share with the admission committee?" if you feel you've covered everything with your previous responses. Read the questions early in the process and give yourself some time to reflect on your answers before submitting them. They may change!