Spanish is offered at SJNCS as a special area of instruction to all the students from Pre-K through 8th grade. The Spanish curriculum is designed to prepare the students to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to achieve proficiency in the target language by implementing the teaching method called TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). TPRS is an input-based approach to teaching language that focuses on the systematic instruction of vocabulary in a highly comprehensible, personalized and contextualized manner.
The five basic steps of the TPRS sequence are:
1. Establish meaning
2. Ask the story/create a story
3. Read and discuss/reading activity
4. Cultural Reading
At the end of the 2018/2019 school year, thirty seven of forty-five (82%) graduating 8th Grade students were placed in Honors Foreign Language Courses at Knoxville Catholic High School.
Señora Mountain is a 15 year expert Native Spanish Teacher from Bogotá, Colombia. She is also a LEI ( Latino Enrollment Institute) participant for the University of Notre Dame and a TPRS expert and certified by Blaine Ray. Señora Mountain has been married to her husband, Chad, for 21 years. They have two children, Andrew and Mathew, who both graduated from St. John Neumann School. Teaching is her passion and she says that working in the Catholic Dioceses is her calling.