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Recognizing the importance of early language learning, Dalton starts teaching Spanish in Kindergarten at the First Program. With the goal of proficiency, children learn Spanish using immersion methodology and the communicative approach to connect language, culture, and content. Our program follows a FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) model in which students come to language class for a specific amount of time each day. The FLES Program is beneficial because it reinforces concepts from other disciplines and increases awareness of other cultures, peoples, and languages. In addition to being easy and fun for young learners, the program strengthens knowledge of a child’s first language, especially in terms of vocabulary and grammar.

The curriculum is STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) focused. Along with learning vocabulary, communicative structures, and Spanish-speaking cultures, students do hands-on experiments, discuss science concepts, and create art, all in Spanish! This kind of content-based learning is considered best practice by researchers and supported by the national professional organization ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).

The aim of the program is to build communicative proficiency, cultural understanding and to instill a love of languages from an early age!

Learn more about World Languages 
  • FP Spanish 1st Grade

    First graders continue their journey towards increasing their knowledge of the Spanish language by learning to communicate in short phrases to describe what they see and to express their thoughts and feelings. Students continue to enjoy learning through interactive games, songs, movement, and stories. Class routines include using the feelings calendar, movement and workout activities, games with twenty-sided-dice, and songs played on the güiro and cajón. Children discuss classes and activities that are part of their school day. Then they explore what those activities look like at schools in Latin America and Spain. For example, students watch children in Perú learning how to play the cajón, which they recognize from their own prior lessons.
  • FP Spanish 2nd Grade

    Second graders continue their journey towards learning the Spanish language with patience, love, and respect. Aligned with the second-grade study of New York City, students learn how to state where they live and describe components related to what makes a city in Spanish. They learn about the cardinal points on the map, directions, and landmarks. Second graders continue to build upon their oral comprehension as well as increase their vocabulary through reading activities, oral presentations, and listening activities. They learn reading strategies and become more confident in their speaking skills. Students are also able to communicate by asking and answering simple questions. They enjoy exploring and growing as language learners through songs, dances, reading, writing, and interactive games.
  • FP Spanish 3rd Grade

    In their final year of Spanish at First Program, third graders continue to focus on verbal communication. The curriculum also introduces more literacy skills, with the aim of strengthening students’ reading comprehension and writing abilities in Spanish. They practice speaking using complete sentences when answering questions, sharing about themselves, and talking about topics studied in class. Children are able to ask and respond to questions, make inferences, deduce information from short texts and identify new words. They have also practiced how to use a digital dictionary.

    Aligned with the social studies curriculum, third graders explore geography, landforms, the continents, and the twenty-one Hispanic countries in the world. Students also discuss the influence of immigrants in US culture, how the USA is the second country with the most Spanish speakers in the world after México, and about popular Latin American music (salsa, merengue, tango, and ranchera). 
  • FP Spanish K

    In their first year of Spanish study, Kindergarteners enjoy learning by using interactive games, songs, movements, puppets, and stories. They build vocabulary through the use of Total Physical Response and other interactive tools. The children develop their listening and comprehension skills while acquiring and producing language. They focus on several themes including an introduction to Latin American culture, colors, days of the week, months of the year, numbers, and shapes. 

    They begin by working on the thematic unit, “All About Me,” which includes vocabulary about family, pets, feelings, and physical characteristics and complements the identity work done in the House curriculum. Students learn about the cultural celebration of El Día de los Muertos, a day honoring and remembering family members who are no longer with us. They dance to Spanish classics such as “Quimbara” by Celia Cruz, “Bamboleo” by the Gipsy Kings, and “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens.


  • Photo of Lori Langer de Ramirez
    Lori Langer de Ramirez
    Director of World and Classical Languages
    SUNY, New Paltz - B.A.
    CUNY, Queens College - M.S.
    Teachers College, Columbia University - Ed.D.
  • Photo of Cesar Lozada
    Cesar Lozada
    Spanish Teacher Leave Replacement
    University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela - B.A.
    University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela - M.A.
  • Photo of Verónica Maldonado
    Verónica Maldonado
    World Languages Teacher
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia - B.A.
    Columbia University - M.A.
  • Photo of Natalia Malone Hernández
    Natalia Malone Hernández
    First Program Spanish Coordinator and K-3 Spanish Teacher
    City University of New York Macaulay Honors College, Hunter College Campus - B.A.
  • Photo of Nivia Marrero
    Nivia Marrero
    World Languages Teacher
    University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus - B.A.
    CUNY, School of Professional Studies - M.A.
  • Photo of Cynthia Vasquez
    Cynthia Vasquez
    FP K-3 Spanish Teacher
    Kean University - B.A.
(Grades K-3) 53 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5463
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(Gr. 4 Dalton East & PE Center) 200 East 87th Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5262
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(Grade 5-12) 108 East 89th Street
New York, NY 10128
General: (212) 423-5200 | Admissions: (212) 423-5262
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