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Growing Language Skills and Connections

Last spring, students from South Hill Elementary spent one morning at Ithaca High School immersed in foreign languages and fostering a rich vision of enjoying second language learning. What began as a project between first- and fourth-grade buddies had culminated in a collaboration with high school classes to give the elementary students a taste of what language study will look and feel like as they get older. 

Throughout the 2016-17 school year, Emily Miller and Sarah Hoffman taught their students Spanish during morning meetings through songs and read-aloud books, and wove language instruction into their daily curriculum.  In May, their students were invited to join two advanced placement (AP) language classes at Ithaca High School.  

In Ms. Craig’s AP Spanish class, the high school students read to the elementary students in Spanish and challenged them in “A Pescar” (“Go Fish”). In Ms. Bowman’s AP French class, the first- and fourth-graders played various language learning games designed by the high school students and had the opportunity to learn a little French and compare the two languages. 

This year, Ms. Miller and Ms. Hoffman expect to expand the project throughout South Hill and deepen the partnership with their high school colleagues and students.


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Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101