HS Spanish

Innovation Academy offers Spanish to all of its students. The Spanish program is uniquely focused on building true conversational competency and producing students will will use and remember their language skills in years to come.

Spanish Classes at Innovation focus on helping students learn conversational language.

Authentic Language Acquisition

Our department is based on putting students in contact with authentic language from day one. Students are assessed not simply on grammar and vocabulary but on their use of the language: how well they produce, understand, and can converse in Spanish.

Elective System

In the high school, students move through levels of Spanish at their own pace, advancing based on their conversational competency. Each level takes a typical student one to two years to move through.

At each level, we offer a variety of different electives to cater to different interests and learning styles and to expose students to a variety of cultural content.

Students at our first level are still building their fundamental vocabulary and learning to handle routine interactions.

Students at our second level are beginning to truly create with language, building novel sentences and expanding their sense of grammar.

At our third and fourth levels, students can understand a range of grammatical structures and engage in increasingly sophisticated tasks, such as classroom debates, reading current articles and selections from books, and watching and discussing films.


Language learning and acquisition is a complex process that involves different skills; therefore, each individual will develop such skills at different times, and through a variety of methods. In order to better assess our language learners, the Spanish Department uses four different strands which align with ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching Foreign Languages) guidelines and the Massachusetts Foreign Language Frameworks.

  • Interpersonal

    One of the most important uses of any language is spontaneous communication. The Interpersonal strand assesses students’ ability to interact and negotiate meaning in spoken signed, or written conversations that occur spontaneously.


  • Presentational

    Students will be assessed in their ability to present, in a written and oral way,  information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate linguistic forms. Students adapt to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.

  • Interpretive

    Interpretation assessments requires that students understand, interpret, and analyze authentic written and spoken Spanish on a variety of topics. Unlike conversational assessments, which are in real time, interpretation assessments allow students time to re-read and re-listen.

  • Work Habits

    Work habits envelops the school outcomes of Self-Direction, Community Membership, and Problem-Solving. Self-direction is a fundamental skill in learning a new language, reflecting the effort put into completing homework, studying regularly, and working in class. Importantly, self-direction also includes staying in Spanish all the time and being a community member by encouraging others to do the same. In order to ensure staying in the language, problem-solving and systems thinking skills are key elements. Skills that are developed to ensure staying in the language (within all levels) are to take linguistic risks and make mistakes in order to learn, making inferences with ambiguity, and using circumlocution to express ideas without having the vocabulary readily available.